Sunderland Airshow still flying high - despite changes in rules

Gary Hutchinson with Sue Stanhope.

Gary Hutchinson with Sue Stanhope.

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Rule changes in the wake of the Shoreham airshow disaster are unlikely to have a major impact at Sunderland, says the woman in charge.

Ex-military jets will have to perform at higher altitude and further away after the Civil Aviation Authority unveiled its final report. Eleven people died when a vintage Hawker Hunter jet crashed onto traffic on the A27 in August.

Sunderland airshow director Sue Stanhope said: “Safety of both the audience and the display teams has, is, and always will be, of paramount importance.

“Our experienced Flying Programme Director will, of course, further review our current safety arrangements against the revised CAA standards. We will, as a matter of course, take a close look at the implications of any changes and ensure we continue to not only comply with, but where possible, exceed the minimum safety standards required.

“Due to the location of the airshow these new rules are not expected to have a significant effect on the displays visitors see over the weekend of July 22-24.”

She was speaking at the launch of a team-up between the airshow and hospitality specialist 1879 Events Management for this year’s show.

The firm will be operating a world food and drink village in the former amusement park at Seaburn and providing hospitality packages throughout the weekend, as well as running a family zone.

Commercial director Gary Hutchinson said: “It’s been a real privilege to be involved in some of the North East’s biggest events over the past four years and we are thrilled to now be lending the same expertise to such an amazing occasion in our home city.”