Kenley Air Show cancelled due to 'needless bureaucracy'
Organisers have been forced to cancel a fundraising air show, blaming "needless bureaucracy" for depriving a charity of money.
The Kenley Air Show had been due to take place at Kenley Airfield this weekend (September 7-8) but was called off after the City of London Corporation "dragged its heels" over the use of its land.
The show would have seen vintage aircraft including Spitfires and a Sopwith Camel return to an airfield which played a key role in the Battle of Britain, with organisers expecting around 10,000 visitors.
All the profits would have been donated to charities, with the bulk going to the RAF Benevolent Fund.
But organisers pulled the plug on the show after protracted negotiations with the Corporation - which owns the land surrounding the airfield - failed to come to fruition in time. Part of Kenley Common would have had to be fenced off for the show for safety reasons.
Alistair White, the main organiser, said: "We got to early spring and they were saying it wasn't down to them to close off a bit of the common, which was a key point because we have got so many people to please - all the fire, police, ambulance for both Surrey and London.
"They eventually backed down and said they would have a look at it, but they never got their act together quick enough for us to do it. They were dragging their heels.
"We got so close that we that we couldn't do - we wouldn't have got the licence from the Civil Aviation Authority. Basically we ran out of time, because if we had got to the day and they still hadn't given us this land we would have been in trouble."
Mr White hopes the show will go ahead in September next year instead, but remains "tremendously disappointed" that months of hard work and nearly £10,000 of his money had come to nothing.
He said: "We have been planning this show for two years and working on it harder in the last year, so it is a huge shame - not least because it would have been a community event and would have raised money for charity. The City of London don't seem to be interested in the fact we are trying to this for charity."
A City of London Corporation spokeswoman said: "Due to complex issues surrounding licensing and timings, we were unfortunately unable to meet the deadline set by Mr White."
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