Airshow bosses hold residents 'debrief'By Tim Harris
October 05, 2012
ORGANISERS of the 2012 Farnborough Airshow listened to the views of residents last week at the first ever airshow debrief.
Representatives from airshow organisers Farnborough International Ltd, as well as Rushmoor Borough Council, Hampshire County Council and Hampshire Police, were grilled by North Camp residents at a special meeting on September 26.
The debrief was hosted by the North Camp Community Matters Partnership (NCMCA), at Farnborough Baptist Church, in Queens Road.
Questions, comments and criticisms were put to the panel, about the positives and negatives from the airshow, which took place in July.
The main three issues discussed by residents were the road scheme put in place during the airshow, parking issues and the free tickets offered to Farnborough residents.
Just days after the airshow finished, the News & Mail revealed that people from Farnborough were turned away at the airshow, after being promised free tickets.
Residents were told at the gates they had to have collected their free airshow tickets before an expired deadline.
Some people at the NCMCA debrief described how they had experienced problems with the free ticketing offer to the airshow but Jonathan Smith, head of operations at Farnborough International, defended the airshow organiser’s position.
“The free tickets were offered as a goodwill gesture to compensate people,” he said. “But there were people who did not want to listen.
“We thought we were doing the right thing, we did not go out to do this to cause a problem. The biggest thing is about communication.”
North Camp residents at the debrief said they were happy with the traffic scheme, and while there were still issues discussed about parking in residential streets, Mr Palmer said he believes this problem actually improved for the 2012 event.
Mr Palmer added: “I thought the debrief went very well. The panel responded very well to the questions and comments that were made.
“What we wanted to achieve was to establish communication with the airshow organisers and the council, for feedback comments.
“It is a long time until the next airshow (in 2014), and I do not expect issues to be fixed overnight. But I thought this was a very productive gathering.”