Government responds to petition to keep Red Arrows in Lincolnshire

A typically spectacular routine by the Red Arrows aerobatics display team. (PHOTO BY: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
A typically spectacular routine by the Red Arrows aerobatics display team. (PHOTO BY: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The government has responded to the thousands of people who have signed a petition to keep the Red Arrows in Lincolnshire.

The petition, which can be supported on the UK Government and Parliament website, has amassed more than 11,000 signatures.

It still has a long way to go before reaching the 100,000-signature threshold that could prompt a debate in the House Of Commons.

But it has prompted the government to issue a formal response on the website which stresses that it recognises the significant heritage surrounding the Royal Air Force’s aerobatics display team.

It says: “The RAF remains committed to Lincolnshire, which is one of three potential locations for basing the Red Arrows. Detailed studies are under way, the outcome of which will be publicised in due course.”

The Red Arrows are looking for a new home after the decision to close their current base, RAF Scampton, in 2022 as part of defence cuts.

Three alternative sites have been mooted, but only one of them, RAF Waddington, is within Lincolnshire.

The government’s response continues: “Any decision will depend on the availability of an area of airspace in which the Red Arrows can conduct their aerobatic training, and the RAF is working with the Civil Aviation Authority to identify suitable options. A decision is expected to be made by the end of 2020.”

The Red Arrows has been based in the county since 1983 and boosts the local economy through tourism and prestige.