Greater Lincolnshire

Ministry of Defence plots course for new Red Arrows training space

We all want to keep the Red Arrows in the county, but where would you like to see them training in the skies above Greater Lincolnshire?

The Ministry of Defence has already shortlisted three locations where the aerobatic team could be based, including RAF Waddington, but has now launched consultations on changes to the airspace they could fly in.

It would see the current space over Scampton, known as EG R313, de-regulated and a new one created somewhere in Greater Lincolnshire – or near the other two options being considered by the MOD.

The Government department has written to local authorities giving them until April 12 to have their say.

A letter to the authorities says: “Following the MOD announcement in July 18 to close RAF Scampton by 2022, a new base location and training airspace is required for the [RAF Red Arrows].

“This airspace change proposal presents an opportunity to deregulate the current training airspace (EGR313) and establish new airspace, in suitable proximity to the future base location of the Red Arrows.”

The consultation forms the first part of the changes, with no designs yet having been developed. However, the MOD notes any future airspace must meet the “training and safety requirements of the Red Arrows.”

A map showing the areas the MOD are currently looking at for new airspace for the Red Arrows to train in.

The consultation is available to view on the Civil Aviation Authority website, and includes a map which covers the majority of Greater Lincolnshire – though says this could be subject to change as the plans progress.

Documents on the consultation say the Red Arrows need to be in place in their new location by Autumn 2021. A provisional timeline states the new airspace would look to be implemented by July that year.

A public engagement event will take place at Waddington Community Hub next Wednesday, from 2.30-6.45pm.

The MOD confirmed the closure of the base last year, throwing the future of the site and the Red Arrows into doubt.

County council and West Lindsey District Council officials have since been in discussions over possible use of the site and secured £150,000 worth of funding in January to help draw up plans.

County leaders including the City of Lincoln MP Karen Lee and Executive Portfolio Holder for Economy Colin Davie have called on residents to make the case for keeping the team in Lincolnshire.

The petition you need to sign to keep the Red Arrows in Lincolnshire

Visit Lincoln and The Lincolnite/Lincolnshire Reporter have been running an official petition to keep the Red Arrows in Lincolnshire once RAF Scampton closes. The petition has over 7,147 signatures.

SIGN THE PETITION TO KEEP THE RED ARROWS IN LINCOLNSHIRE HERE

Lydia Rusling, Chief Executive of Visit Lincoln, said: “As the organisation responsible for tourism in Lincolnshire we are very encouraged to hear that the Red Arrows may stay in the county.

“We have been working alongside The Lincolnite and partners to show our county’s passion and pride in the Red Arrows to keep them in Lincolnshire.

“Our rich aviation heritage attracts people from all over the world, and seeing the Red Arrows regularly in the Lincolnshire skies ensures our connection remains a delight for both residents and visitors.”