A SPECIAL ‘fly-in’ featuring a variety of eye-catching aircraft will take place tomorrow (Saturday) as a show of support for keeping Coventry Airport open.
The window for comments about the controversial proposal to close the site comes to an end on Monday, October 4.
Organisers said the fly-in, gathering and public show will illustrate the airport is needed and well-used, despite being portrayed as ‘disused’.
They say Coventry Airport is very much active and alive.
The event is being organised by Steve Clark, a director of Aerotech Maintenance Ltd. His company moved to Coventry airport 22 years ago and ‘initially grew its business surrounded by a vibrant aeronautical mix of freight aircraft, business jets and light aviation’.
However, proposals from the ‘Joint Venture Partnership’ between Coventry City Council and the Rigby Group would see the airfield sacrificed to make way for a Gigafactory, manufacturing batteries for electric vehicles.
Steve said: “I would stress this is not an organised event or fly-in – simply a request for individuals to fly into Coventry and show their support to keep the airfield open, and once common sense prevails, move it forward to become a successful regional airport rather than a target for property development.”
Among the pledges of support include a handful of ‘exotic’ aircraft types – including a Yak-3 Second World War fighter – and the world’s last airworthy ex-RAF Vampire which will be jetting in. A Shackleton and Nimrod will also be on static display, with food available from the ‘Light Apron cafe’.
Coventry Aero Club, one of the oldest tenants (established 1930s), is also supporting the gathering.
The organisers want to stress their objection to an airfield-closing proposal is not synonymous with an objection to the creation of jobs or economic development in the local area.
“However, the loss of Coventry’s airport would adversely affect much more than simply its immediate GA users, and we invite everyone – whether arriving by air or by road – to join in our show of support.”
Plans submitted in July have earmarked the airport as the preferred location for the 4.5million sq ft gigafactory which would build electric car batteries – endorsed by the West Midlands Combined Authority.
Those behind the plans, including Coventry City Council, Coventry Airport Ltd and the West Midlands Combined Authority, claim the gigafactory is needed to meet the demand of batteries for EV cars and other uses as the nation switches from regular fuel vehicles to forms of transport considered more environmentally friendly.
And they say it would create 6,000 jobs and be powered using 100 per cent green energy through solar, wind and grid supplied renewable power.