ENGLAND --- One of the biggest air shows in the UK has been cancelled because the Royal Navy does not have the staff to put the event on.
The annual RNAS Culdrose Air Day attracts thousands of visitors, as the base in Cornwall opens its doors to the public.
The Commanding Officer of Culdrose, Captain Dan Stembridge ADC, said that it was just not possible to hold the show this year and that it may be combined with the Yeovilton air day in future.
He said: “We have had to make the regrettable decision to not hold an Air Day this year in order to focus our resources on delivering our primary roles; to protect the Strategic Nuclear Deterrent, support Counter Terrorism and be ready to defend the Royal Navy’s Carrier Task Groups.”
“HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Nation’s new flagship, will sail into Portsmouth Harbour this year.
"The carriers are the most powerful ships ever built by the UK and will have a lifespan of 50 years.
"They will be capable of high-intensity warfighting and global counter-terrorism, through to defence engagement, disaster relief and humanitarian aid.
"It is essential that RNAS Culdrose is fully prepared to support the aircraft carriers when they deploy with trained personnel and aircraft.
"Indeed one of my squadrons will provide the very first aircraft to land on her deck."
It is set to be a busy year for the Royal Naval Air Station.
Eighty per cent of the base's front line personnel are on operations or at very high readiness to deploy.
It is a year that will also see the Royal Navy's new flagship introduced into the fleet, as the aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth sails into Portsmouth.
"The Air Day decision has involved much deliberation and we appreciate that many will be disappointed, however operations must come first. There is a lot of work to be done to deliver air power from our nation’s new carriers; and we must be ready.”
Three major military air shows are usually held throughout the year in the UK.
Visitors will be heading to RAF Cosford and RNAS Yeovilton to witness aerial acrobatics and get up close and personal with the military.