‘Experienced’ organisers asked to come forward to run Jersey’s air display

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Organisations with ‘strong, demonstrable experience’ as air display organisers are being asked to submit expressions of interest to hold the much-loved event in the Island.

The government has said this forms part of a ‘reset’ of its support for air events in line with its ‘economic and environmental targets’.

Economic Development Minister Kirsten Morel said people and organisations ‘who have strong, demonstrable experience as air event organisers’ were being asked to come forward – including the current organiser, former Deputy Mike Higgins.

‘I know air displays hold a special place in the hearts of many Islanders, but it’s important to ensure government funding continues to represent value for money for Island taxpayers.

‘We are not tied to one event format, and we would welcome proposals that are imaginative and innovative. This could be a traditional air display or an event that showcases new technologies and opportunities such as air races, drone displays, or other aerobatic activity. Static displays, which have all but dried up, could also be revitalised, giving a boost to traders and giving people an opportunity to see more,’ Deputy Morel added.

The government has said organisers’ proposals will be assessed against the following six criteria:

1. Safety – evidence of how any future event would go ‘above and beyond’ legal safety requirements.

2. Strategic partnerships – how respondents will ‘optimise and manage stakeholder relationships’ and provide evidence of previous success.

3. Narrative – a ‘high-level narrative of Jersey’s history, present, and future’ that could shape the physical elements of any event.

4. Economic impact – how will the event (both in the air and on the ground) support Jersey’s visitor and hospitality industries and what new initiatives could ‘invigorate positive economic impact’ and how this will be measured.

5. Environmental impact – how environmental impact would be measured and what steps could be taken as mitigations.

6. Inclusion – how any event would attract new visitors and ‘renew interest in the event’ among Islanders

Deputy Morel said: ‘Recent tragedies at air events outside Jersey underline that we need to keep safety, and respect for the air regulator, at the centre of everything.

‘I am also aware of concerns around the environmental impact of air displays, both in the air and on the ground.’

Prospective air display organisers are being invited to submit expressions of interest by April, with government grant funding applicable to either 2023 or 2024 depending on the time requirements of any event held.

Deputy Morel continued: ‘We are inviting people and organisations who have strong, demonstrable experience as air event organisers to come forward. It may be that the current organisers apply and are successful, but if we don’t look at what possibilities are available then we won’t know.

‘What I do know is that we have an opportunity to ensure a much-loved event becomes aligned to government ambitions in order to get government support.’

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