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Page last updated at 11:53 GMT, Friday, 16 April 2010 12:53 UK
Business as usual for Southend Air Festival
P-51 Mustang
This is the 25th year the event has been run in Southend

Organisers of the Southend Air Festival are confident it will be business as usual this year despite news the Red Arrows will miss the show.

The team have had to pull out from a number of displays, after a member of the stunt team was involved in an accident in March.

A council spokesperson said they still expected a "fun packed programme" for residents and visitors.

The event takes place on Sunday, 30 and Monday, 31 May 2010.

Organisers of the show said the news was disappointing, but, were pleased with this year's preparations.

"We've seen visitor numbers increase year on year," said the council's Lorraine Butler.

"We are going to have a packed programme and are guaranteeing our residents and visitors an absolutely fun weekend," she added.

Flying Display Director, David Walton, said the Red Arrows had left a hole in the schedule which he was working to fill.

"From my point of view it's 25 minutes on both days. Also the air force items are very reasonable for the amount of money we pay, so it's a big loss overall," said David.

"It's a big struggle for me now to fill that time with civilian display items.

"There are jet display teams out there, so we're talking to a couple of these jet displays.

"Whilst they're not a replacement for the Red Arrows they will certainly go a long way to compliment their display and get some jet noise and smoke in the air at Southend," he added.

The Southend Air Festival takes place on Sunday, 30 and Bank Holiday Monday, 31 May 2010.

The two-day event is the largest free airshow in Europe.

BBC Essex will broadcasting live commentary on Radio Airshow on 1530MW.




SEE ALSO
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16 Feb 10 |  Northern Ireland
Red Arrows to miss RAF air show
14 Apr 10 |  Shropshire
Red Arrows in mid-air collision
23 Mar 10 |  Lincolnshire

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