Norwich Airport is holding a weekend of celebrations to mark the airport’s long association with the RAF as part of the nationwide RAF100 centenary celebrations.
This Saturday and Sunday (June 23 & 24, from 10am to 3pm on both days) members of the public are invited to the airport to take part in a range of celebration activities inside and outside the terminal building.
There will be a number of military vehicles together with RAF static displays and equipment, an RAF Air Training Corps flight simulator, the chance to build model robots and gliders with the RAF STEM team, a Rolls Royce Derwent engine, climbing wall, Cadet Band and a display of Aston Martin cars.
Star attraction will be a static hawk aircraft right outside the terminal. Visitors at the weekend will have the opportunity to sit in the aircraft cockpit.
Norwich Airport has a long association with the RAF having been first developed as RAF Horsham St Faith in 1939, opening as an RAF bomber station in 1940. It was made available to the United States Army Air Force from 1942 to 1945, and was then operated by the RAF as a front line station until 1963. The first holiday charter flights started in 1971.
Celebrations will kick off on Friday morning with a flypast at 10am by a Tornado aircraft and civic reception hosted by Sir Peter Rigby, founder, Chairman and CEO of Rigby Group Plc, which owns Norwich Airport. Rigby Group is sponsoring and organising similar RAF100 events its other airports which include Coventry, Exeter and Bournemouth Airports.
Sir Peter Rigby, who is also a Group Captain of 601 Squadron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, said the event reflected the themes of the RAF’s centenary year: to commemorate, celebrate and inspire.
He said: “We have organised this RAF 100 celebration in Norwich to reflect the professionalism and capabilities of today’s Royal Air Force and to provide a platform to discuss its current role and its important future place in serving and protecting our nation.
“This is a time of commemoration and celebration, as well as showcasing the opportunities available in the modern RAF to inspire young people to join the service to realise their potential from the world-class training and opportunities which are available.”
Norwich Airport’s managing director Richard Pace added: “Norwich Airport has a long and proud association with the RAF and we are delighted to be supporting the RAF100 centenary celebrations. We hope people will come along for a fun-packed weekend at their local airport.”
Car parking for visitors to the celebration exhibits is available free of charge in the short or long term car park with free exit tickets being provided on arrival at the car park entrance barriers.