SHOREHAM Airshow has been cancelled for another year and may not return in 2018.

No firm plans can be made for the event until investigations are complete into the plane crash in which 11 men died, organisers exclusively told The Argus yesterday.

The news comes as the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) finally accepted a raft of safety measures made in the wake of the tragedy, which it had previously rejected.

Airshow director Colin Baker, one of seven people who run the private company Shoreham Airshow Ltd, said: “We won’t be holding the show in 2017. Even if it had been possible, we wouldn’t have time to organise it.

“We would like to think we can do something in 2018 but we have still got to wait for the final Air Accident Investigations Branch (AAIB) report and the inquest.

“Then there is the police and the local authority and we would clearly want to make sure the families of the deceased are OK with it. So I couldn’t say definitely that we will have one in 2018.”

The event has not taken place since a Hawker Hunter crashed into the A27 on August 22, 2015.

A year ago Mr Baker said there were plans for the airshow to return this year.

But he yesterday welcomed news the industry watchdog was introducing more safety regulations, adding: “Anything which makes airshows safer is welcome.”

The CAA initially rejected nine of 21 recommendations made by the AAIB after the disaster.

But it has now confirmed it will look at all the suggestions which could change rules for airshow organisers and pilots.

Hove MP Peter Kyle, who previously said the recommendations were “too important” to ignore, branded the news a “victory” for campaigners, adding: “This is almost unprecedented and it is exceptionally good news they are now accepting these safety measures.

“There’s no doubt in my mind this has the potential to change the culture of the way airshows are managed, organised and regulated –which is what needs to happen.”

James Healy-Pratt, of Stewarts Law, who represents families of six victims, said it was a step in the right direction but the final crash report was still awaited.

A CAA spokesman said: “The CAA has acknowledged all of the AAIB’s 21 interim safety recommendations and has published an update on progress on these.

“We have already concluded our work on 12 of these recommendations, which we now categorise as closed. Nine recommendations are categorised as open, as work is continuing, with clear deadlines for concluding this work.”

Pilot Andrew Hill was interviewed under caution by police about the crash but not arrested. Sussex Police said the investigation continues.


UNDER the new rules airshow organisers will have their risk assessments scrutinised by Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) inspectors.

In the coming airshow season the watchdog will refuse permission for a display until this is adequately completed. Pilots will now have to tell event organisers of their sequence of stunts at least a day in advance.

Other regulations including the CAA dictating specific boundaries for displays. It will also review the minimum distance between crowds and planes taking part in displays.

The catalogue of measures comes just two months after the industry regulator rejected nine out of 21 safety recommendations proposed by the Air Accident Investigations Branch (AAIB) in the wake of the Shoreham Airshow crash.

The CAA initially dismissed advice on the distance between crowds and flying displays, requests to force organisers to demand a break-down of manoeuvres before a pilot takes to the sky, stricter risk assessment rules and changes to the way flying permits are issued.

It defended its position, saying things can change during an investigation and that the responsibility sometimes lied with airshow organisers. But many criticised this and said more could, and should, be done.


THE Civil Aviation Authority’s decision to accept all the safety recommendations made in the wake of the Shoreham Airshow crash was branded a “victory” for campaigners and a free press.

Hove MP Peter Kyle, who has been meeting the watchdog following the crash, said: “There is no doubt in my mind [accepting the safety measures] has the potential to change the culture of the way airshows are run. 

“I have noticed a ‘clubiness’ in the industry and this has been a barrier to real change and effect regulation. And we have to thank for that the campaigning journalism at The Argus. 

“The newspaper has persistently been challenging the sometimes lacklustre responses [on this topic]. It is a victory for all of us – particularly of the free press.”