Published on March 7th, 2023 | by Mark Dwyer


Newcastle Festival of Flight Not to Take Place in 2023

Newry, Mourne and Down Council has confirmed that the Newcastle Festival of Flight will not go ahead this year. The Airshow, one of the biggest on the island, regularly attracted around 100,000 visitors with a strong lineup of displays. It was last held in 2019 when the Red Arrows, The Blades, Irish Coast Guard, BBMF, The Ravens and the Irish Air Corps all took part. The 2023 show will not go ahead on the basis of costs – an estimated £260,000 is required to run the event – although this is recouped many times over by local businesses.

South Down MLA Diane Forsythe expressed disappointment with the decision saying that “People travelled from near and far to enjoy it and it is extremely disappointing that the local council does not see fit to consider its return.”

Councillor Henry Reilly said: “Given the festival’s potential to generate huge economic benefit and rewards for the local hospitality, it’s unfortunate that the Festival of Flight was not considered for inclusion in the council’s tourism events programme or even a scaled down version of it. The event is one of the district’s flagship events and this information will be disappointing to local enthusiasts and residents who looked forward to its return.”

The Council said that the event would be considered for the 2024 events programme.

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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