AIRPORT bosses have backed calls to bring back the iconic airshow to Southend as a campaign gathers pace.

The Southend Airshow was once the jewel in the crown of the town’s events calender, with Southend Airport’s CEO now open to conversations about how the airport can help.

The event saw thousands of daytrippers descend on the seafront each summer, but last took place in 2012.

It is believed the airport would have to close for the day if the airshow returned, but CEO Glyn Jones is willing to sit down with Southend Council to put a plan together.


Councillors and residents have long called for the airshow to return, but raising cash has proved a huge stumbling block, with deputy leader Ron Woodley previously stating seafront traders may have to stump up cash.

Mr Jones said: “The iconic Southend air show was a hugely popular attraction bringing many benefits to the local area and much enjoyment for the community.

“Southend Airport has a rich history and has hosted Spitfires, Hurricanes and of course the resident Vulcan.

“While much work and investment is required to coordinate such an event, we are open to conversations to investigate the possibility of bringing an air show back to the area.”

Kevin Buck, shadow councillor for transport, hopes with reignited interest from the airport, it could return in the summer of 2023.

He has called for a joint airshow to run alongside Clacton’s popular event to go ahead, although Mr Woodley feared it may prove to be too difficult.

Mr Buck said: “A joint airshow with Clacton has been mooted. We can learn a lot from their airshow, which is really popular.

“It’s only five minutes up the coast.

“That’s the sort of thing we need to be doing to save costs.

“No one is against the airshow coming back.

“People will come here for the whole weekend, helping our hospitality businesses.”

The airshow, which traditionally ran on the May Bank Holiday in Southend, always proved popular with families with sideshows and stalls alongside the event.

Mr Woodley added: “I would personally like to see the airshow back, but I can’t see a joint airshow with Clacton working.

“We would need to make sure the planes could fly distance and the pilots wanted too. It all has to be considered.

“It’s the cost and the organisation that needs to be overcome.

“The policing side of it is what costs the most.”