Page last updated at 14:44 GMT, Thursday, 26 July 2007 15:44 UK

City airshow goes carbon neutral

Red Arrows
The Red Arrows are a crowd pleaser at the two-day event

The organisers of one of Europe's biggest airshows have pledged to offset the event's carbon footprint by insulating a number of homes for free.

An estimated 400 tonnes of carbon dioxide will be produced at this year's Sunderland International Airshow.

The same amount is produced by about 30 uninsulated homes, said the city council, which will carry out the work.

In 2006, approximately one million spectators flocked to the airshow at the beach between Seaburn and Roker.

The 19th annual event will feature aircraft including Falcons, F16s, Lynx helicopters and the Eurofighter Typhoon.

And several classic warplanes - the Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane - will take part in the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

But concerns about the effects of engine emissions on the global climate have prompted the council to organise a "carbon neutral" event.

'Cavity insulation'

Jim Gillon, the authority's sustainability co-ordinator, said: "We believe this is the first time this has been tried and while you obviously cannot remove carbon dioxide you can offset it.

"The council is committed to reducing carbon emissions and we thought we should try and do it with the biggest event we run and make that carbon neutral.

"Cavity-wall insulation, in one house over a year, can save 12 tonnes of carbon emissions so we will need to insulate around 34 properties to offset the airshow."

The two-day event, will also feature the ever-popular Red Arrows, various parachuting teams and land beach assaults by the Royal Marines.

However, military commitments mean there will be no Harrier or Tornado aircraft at this year's event, which takes place on Saturday and Sunday.


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