May 2017

Only 20 days to go until the RAF Cosford Air Show.  The whole of the unit is a flurry of activity with Project Managers and Project Officers busily ensuring that their arrangements are all in place and that their part of the Air Show will run on rails.

We conducted an important activity early in May that involved us exercising our responses to a range of scenarios. In the morning we engaged our immediate response teams that included the military commander, the fire and rescue services, our medical staff and our cordon parties. To add some realism we used 120 trainees as ‘actors’ who needed to be looked after and controlled.  Such realism adds tremendous value to such exercises and all participants gained experience.

In the afternoon we exercised our Event Control by running through a range of scenarios that required teamwork from the full range of emergency service responders, Highways Agency, Local Authority, Traffic Management and others.  Again, this was a key part of us testing our ways of working ahead of 11 June.

The focus of the operations side of the Air Show team has put risk management high on the agenda over the last 4 weeks. We are mandated to identify and manage a range of Air and Ground risks and to demonstrate that we have effective systems that treat, tolerate or transfer such risks to the appropriate level.  We are assisted in this process by a raft of regulation and guidance and we have invested much effort in this task. The culmination of this activity was a briefing to a senior RAF Officer (Air Officer Commanding 22 Training Group) who explored all of our risks, mitigations and recommendations.  This was a necessarily probing examination of our work and I’m pleased to say that we gained the required endorsement to our risk management strategy.

In relation to our hangar displays, Michaela has been busily establishing STEM links and her hangar will be fuller than ever before with some amazing displays.  She has also had one eye on the work being done in the ‘Space’ hangar and has produced a planetary treasure hunt that involves scaling the orbital diameters of the planets of the solar system in order to find them on our showground. This sounds more complex than it actually is, and it will certainly spark an interest in our younger future scientists who will be attending the Air Show with their parents!

Marilyn’s efforts with the Vintage Village are really coming together and her 60’s theme will be a vibrant and effervescent addition to the day’s activities. I’ve seen the party packs that have arrived and can’t help thinking that she’s creating a blend of Woodstock, the swinging sixties and Carnaby Street! The Vintage Village will be a great place to relax, recline and be entertained on our big day.

We’ve welcomed Simon, our site manager, back to the team and his work in designing the showground is key to managing the many exhibitors and vendors who are all vying for space.  This is high-tech stuff and Computer Aided Design gives Simon the exact dimensions required to build the site.  The high-tech planning only gets us so far, and Simon will soon be on the ground in the evenings with his stakes and rope in order to turn the plan into reality.

The Air Show office is hugely busy with bookings, general administration and fielding the many questions that the visiting public have. Heather takes all of this in her stride and has recently had a new addition to the team as we’ve generated a reservist to assist. Fg Off Fern has joined the team as a willing volunteer and her previous experience as a member of Birmingham University Air Squadron is a bonus.

The flying display is really shaping up too and it’s well worth checking out Peter, Mike and Dylan’s great work by viewing the aircraft list on our webpage. The recent addition of an Italian Tornado has created a real buzz amongst the enthusiast community.

Our Director, Clive, is keeping all of the team’s effort focussed in the right areas and his experience and knowledge of the final fine-tuning of arrangements are much needed.

Exciting times indeed 🙂  Wing Commander Chris Jones, Chairman #Cosford17

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