Published on March 7th, 2023 | by Mark Dwyer0
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.