Petition Keep the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, in Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire has had strong links with the Royal Air Force since before its founding in 1918 and the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team has been synonymous with Lincolnshire for more than 30 years. The Red Arrows team should be kept in the county if RAF Scampton is to close.

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Tourism contributes £1.3billion to the Lincolnshire economy and the county's aviation heritage attracts people from all over the world. This came to the fore in 2018 with the RAF Lincolnshire promotion to mark the county’s long history to the RAF at 100.

The Red Arrows team was formed in 1964 and has been based in Lincolnshire since 1983.

Please see visitlincoln.com/RAF to learn about Lincolnshire's links to aviation and the Royal Air Force, including how you can experience it today.

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Government responded

This response was given on 11 June 2019

The RAF remains committed to Lincolnshire, which is one of three potential locations for basing the Red Arrows. Detailed studies are underway, the outcome of which will be publicised in due course.

Three sites have currently been identified as potentially suitable future locations for the Red Arrows: RAF Wittering in Cambridgeshire, RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire and RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire. Any basing decision for the Red Arrows will depend on the availability of an area of airspace in which they can conduct their aerobatic training and the RAF is working closely with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to identify suitable options. The CAA Airspace Change Process has included, and will continue to include, the opportunity for public engagement and consultation.

As part of this process the RAF will develop options for the airspace change and undertake an initial appraisal of the impacts of the different options. A decision on a future basing option, taking into account work on both the available airspace and the suitability of the three bases identified, is expected to be made by the end of 2020.

The Ministry of Defence recognises the historical significance of particular sites, including Scampton, and will work with new owners to deliver a long-term sustainable solution for preserving their important heritage. Comprehensive local authority engagement will explore the heritage issues and the variety of alternative options for which the vacated site may be used. These discussions will include consideration of the future of the Station’s Heritage Centre.

Under current plans, there will be significant RAF investment in the Lincolnshire area, with several hundred additional service personnel and their dependants arriving at RAF Cranwell, RAF Waddington and RAF Coningsby over the next five years. In addition, a number of civil service and contractor posts will be created in order to support the development of these core sites.

Ministry of Defence.

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