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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Air event support to be linked to Island ambitions

09 March 2023

Government support for Jersey’s air display is to be reset, with the aim of linking financial contributions and officer support to Government’s longer-term ambitions. 

In past years, grant funding has supported air displays without there being an assessment of whether the event aligns with the Government’s economic and environmental aims. Now, six criteria have been identified, which any future application for Government support will be assessed against. 

All prospective event organisers, including the incumbent, are invited to submit expressions of interest for organising an air display event. Proposals will be assessed against the following:

  1. Safety – is above all else both in the air and on the ground. Government is not just seeking compliance but evidence of how any future event would go above and beyond legal safety requirements.
  2. Strategic partnerships – how respondents will optimise and manage stakeholder relationships and provide evidence of previous success.
  3. Narrative – a high-level narrative of Jersey’s history, present, and future that could shape the physical elements of any event.
  4. Economic impact – how will the event, both in the air and on the ground, support Jersey’s visitor and hospitality industries + what new initiatives could invigorate positive economic impact, and how will economic impact be measured.
  5. Environmental impact – how environmental impact would be measured and what steps could be taken as mitigations.
  6. Inclusion – how any event would attract new visitors and renew interest in the event among Islanders. 

The deadline for expressions of interest will be in April. Government grant funding could apply for either 2023 or 2024, according to the time requirements of any event. 

The Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture, Deputy Kirsten Morel, said: “I know air displays hold a special place in the hearts of many Islanders, but it’s important to ensure Government funding continues to represent value for money for Island taxpayers. 

“We are not tied to one event format, and we would welcome proposals that are imaginative and innovative. This could be a traditional air display or an event that showcases new technologies and opportunities such as air races, drone displays, or other aerobatic activity. Static displays, which have all but dried up, could also be revitalised, giving a boost to traders and giving people an opportunity to see more.” 

While economic and environmental criteria are important, a safe and well-managed event remains the priority. 

“Recent tragedies at air events outside Jersey underline that we need to keep safety, and respect for the air regulator, at the centre of everything,” Deputy Morel said. I am also aware of concerns around the environmental impact of air displays, both in the air and on the ground.

“We are inviting people and organisations who have strong, demonstrable experience as air event organisers to come forward. It may be that the current organisers apply and are successful, but if we don’t look at what possibilities are available then we won’t know. What I do know is that we have an opportunity to ensure a much-loved event becomes aligned to Government ambitions in order to get Government support.”

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