Tramore air show decision by June

A final decision regarding a proposed air show spectacular in Tramore at summer’s end will be made in June. But those planning the event expressed confidence this week that, ‘‘with the right kind of support and plenty hard work” , it will go ahead.

Tramore Town Council’s February meeting was addressed on the subject by project organisers Michael Nolan and Dubliner David Scully who anticipate that given good weather the three-hour show, provisionally pencilled in for Sunday, August 30, would attract up to 50,000 spectators. That figure is based on a 70,000 attendance at the inaugural Bray Air Show in 2005, which they also organised.

They estimate that the event would cost about €80,000 to stage and would be worth five or six times that to the local economy. Additionally, there would be national and international publicity from which Tramore would benefit as a tourism destination.

If the show proceeds and is successful, then it could well become an annual fixture.

Mr Nolan, an Air Traffic Control Officer at Waterford Airport, said licences would be required both from the Irish Aviation Authority and Waterford County Council. The display would be entirely over water, parallel to The Promenade where the watching crowd would gather.

Amphitheatre

He described Tramore as an ideal location. Among the attractions was the ample space available to accommodate free movement of a large volume of spectators who would have continuous view of the aircraft. The amphitheatre created by the bay would provide for better visual and sound effects from the aircraft. And the proximity of Waterford Airport would allow most of the aircraft to operate from there and facilitate safe and efficient integration of operations between the air display and the airport.

Seeking support both from the County and Town Councils, he said such backing could come in the form of funding, supply of resources or promotion of the event.

But Town Manager Brian White, though enamoured with the whole idea, said financial support in the current economic climate was out. However, all possible backing otherwise would be forthcoming. The Council members were also enthusiastic about the possibilities and promised any assistance, other than monetary, which they would muster.

Mr Nolan spoke of ‘‘an exciting opportunity to introduce a new and dynamic spectacle to the town”. A seaside air show has never before been staged in the region.

The event, he said, would carry broad audience appeal and there would be no emphasis on alcohol consumption. ‘‘Rather is it a family day out. It is a certain crowd puller and would be of great benefit to the local tourist economy, as well as boosting the profile of the resort, the county and the wider region. It would also promote the important role aviation plays in the south east, especially the search and rescue services and such an event should be considered a potentially significant local asset”.

Mr Nolan said many of the participating aircraft personnel would require prior practice sessions. Therefore pilots, crews, families, friends and visitors would start arriving on the Friday and hotels, bars and restaurants would benefit from a weekend-long trade boost.

While in an ideal world, a single large corporate sponsor would be preferable, he feels financial aid will have to be sought from a cross section of local and possibly national businesses, as well as bodies such as Failte Ireland and Tramore and Waterford Chambers of Commerce.

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