SOUTHEND Airport has announced it will be helping to bring the town’s popular airshow back to life.
The annual extravaganza is being revived by volunteers Tom Curtis and John Delaney – who are giving up their time to work on the project.
The Echo is backing them too.
And now Southend Airport has thrown its support behind the event and will be helping the show by offering a number of its services for free, or at a heavily discounted rate, so the show can go ahead.
This will include air traffic control assistance and overnight storage for aircraft.
David Lister, the airport’s operations director, said: “We’re pleased to be able to play a supporting role in bringing back the annual airshow to the town.
“The Southend Airshow is a hugely popular attraction, drawing visitors to our corner of Essex over many years.
“We’re very happy to assist in what ways we’re able to, alongside our day-to-day operations, in getting this much-loved event flying once again.”
The 2014 event is due to be held next September and will be called the Southend Airshow and Military Festival. It will incorporate events to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.
Mr Curtis said: “We’re looking forward to bringing both Southend Airshow and Military Festival, and Southend, to an international audience and the airport is key to that plan.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to have Southend Airport on board.”
Mr Delaney added: “I’m delighted with the involvement and support from Southend Airport to see the airshow continue.
“Southend Airport, Rochford Aerodrome back then, was home to 37 Squadron A Flight in the First World War so, with 2014 being the 100th anniversary of the war, it is very fitting they should be so involved with our event in 2014 to commemorate it.”
THIS year’s Southend Airshow was cancelled after the council said it could no longer afford to pay £130,000 to run it, due to cuts it needed to introduce.
So volunteers Tom Curtis, 29, from Honiton Road, Southend, and Tom Delaney, 53, of Chesterfield Crescent, Eastwood, set up the Save Southend Airshow Facebook page earlier this year.
The page now has more than 20,000 supporters.
Businesses BTMK, Goldwyn’s Chartered Accountants, Billericay IT Solutions and Candi Entertainment are also among those backing the new show.