Airbourne: Petition started by MP to secure Eastbourne air show's future

A petition has been started by Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell to keep Airbourne as an annual event in the town.

She said: “Airbourne is one of the jewels in Eastbourne’s crown and attracts many thousands of visitors to our town every year.

"It’s a spectacle that puts us on the international map as a top destination and last year had an estimated economic benefit of £27 million and for a town where more than one in four jobs depend on tourism, it gives shops, restaurants and hotels the best weekend of the year, with over 800,000 visitors over the days of the show. I spoke to hundreds of visitors as I combed the beach to support fundraising efforts.”

Mrs Ansell said last year she petitioned the council to commit to Airbourne 2023, and although it did, she wants to secure its future.

She added: “Funding was not the only issue to overcome previously. I know the Liberal Democrats have been conflicted about the ‘carbon cost’ of Airbourne but I was on the Airbourne project board, so I know how hard the events team and council officers have worked to make the event the great success it is and ever more environmentally sustainable.

“Launched in 1993, grounded by Covid, planes have graced our skies for nearly thirty years. So, if you loved the airshow too, please sign up to show your support for Airbourne 2024 so we can encourage the council to commit again - and for the foreseeable - and keep Airbourne flying.”

Eastbourne Borough Council’s cabinet member for tourism Margaret Bannister said: “We are well aware of the importance of this event and the enjoyment it brings to so many of our residents and visitors.

“I’m also delighted that for the first time the event was carbon neutral.

“Our discussions about the 2024 summer season are well advanced and we’ll confirm our plans for Airbourne very soon.

“I am hugely grateful for the tireless work of our fantastic events team, the emergency services, other council departments, our sponsors and of course the efforts of our volunteer bucket collectors who have worked flat out to raise money for good causes and gather contributions towards the future of the show.”