Sunderland Airshow to face tough new safety checks after Shoreham disaster

Sunderland Airshow will be subject to stringent new safety regulations in the wake of the Shoreham disaster..
Sunderland Airshow will be subject to stringent new safety regulations in the wake of the Shoreham disaster..
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This year's Sunderland International Airshow will face tough new safety checks to avoid a repeat of he Shoreham disaster.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) today announced that it has tightened the safety checks which must be passed before organisers receive permission to hold an event.

Sunderland Airshow regularly attracts more than one million visitors to the Roker-Seaburn seafront.

Sunderland Airshow regularly attracts more than one million visitors to the Roker-Seaburn seafront.

The measures also include "enhancing" the experience, skill and health that display pilots must demonstrate before being allowed in the air.

The move follows the deaths of 11 people when a Hawker Hunter jet crashed on to the A27 in West Sussex during the Shoreham air show in August last year.

Steps taken in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy - such as grounding all Hawker Hunter aircraft and banning ex-military jets from performing aerobatics over land - remain in place until the conclusion of an air accident report into what caused the crash.

The CAA's head of general aviation, Tony Rapson, said: "After the tragic accident at Shoreham air show last summer, we began a thorough review, examining every aspect of civil air display safety.

The aftermath of the Shoreham air disaster last August, in which 11 people died.

The aftermath of the Shoreham air disaster last August, in which 11 people died.

"Today we're announcing a series of measures that will enhance the safety of UK air shows.

"Alongside these measures, the restrictions we introduced immediately after the Shoreham accident remain in place.

"In 2016, no air show will go ahead without being subject to an enhanced risk assessment, and having to comply with tighter requirements for training, oversight and notification."

The CAA is set to publish a comprehensive review into civil air displays "in early 2016" in a bid to ensure the events meet the "very highest safety standards".

This year's Shoreham air show has been cancelled out of respect for those affected by last year's disaster.

The pilot of the Hawker Hunter, Andrew Hill, 51, from Hertfordshire, was voluntarily interviewed under caution by police in connection with the accident.

He was thrown clear from the 1955 fighter-bomber and suffered life-threatening injuries but was discharged from hospital in September.

Sunderland Airshow regularly attracts more than one million visitors. This year's will be held from July 22 to 24.