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Gloucestershire Business News

RAF centenary sees turnover at air tattoo charity soar

It may be the youngest of the UK's military charities, but that has not stopped organisers of the world largest military air show setting its sights high.

The Royal International Air Tattoo show at Fairford in Gloucestershire is The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust's headline event, attracting 185,000 spectators over the July weekend this year.

Turnover since 2015 held steady on an upward trajectory of 11 per cent a year until 2015, when it dipped marginally to 10 per cent (£10.8 million).

All very impressive, but now somewhat dwarfed by its just published accounts for the year to the end of February 2019, which saw turnover grow by 20 per cent to more than £13 million.

"The company's profit after tax was maintained at 10 per cent," said the company's report, which went on to outline why the last year had been so special - in more ways than just financial.

"The 2018 Air Tattoo was a key component in the RAF 100 campaign and was selected to be the official international celebration of the RAF's centenary. Particular emphasis was placed upon promoting the Centenary to a record 185,000 visitors over three full days (July 13 - 15).

"This was achieved through the first every Royal Review of the Royal Air Force in front of the general public, the parading of the newly presented colour and weather intervened, a flypast of RAF assets from the past and present.

"RAFCTE further worked to promote the 'inspire' element of RAF 100 through providing free entry for the under 18s and working with schools to facilitate 7,500 school children attending the event on the Friday as part of their STEM curriculum.

The report added: "In total 302 aircraft from 43 air arms representing 30 nations attended the RIAT 2018, of which 121 took part in the flying display.

"Among the flying display highlights were a number of unique flypasts. A special tribute to the legendary Dambusters Squadron saw the iconic Lancaster bomber from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight flay in formation with the squadron's current aircraft, the Tornado and the RAF's new state of the art F-35B Lightning II."

It added: "The board will continue to develop and consolidate its financial base for future years. In annually staging RIAT the RAF Concerts and aviation consultancy services, the company will continue to actively provide for the needs of its parents, the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust in promoting the Royal Air Force, supporting its people both now and in the future."

The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust is headquartered in Fairford at Douglas Bader House.

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