In a statement posted on Friday 3 March in response to the full AAIB report issued on the same day, the British Air Display Association (BADA) says it welcomes the conclusion to the very lengthy AAIB investigation process and hopes that it will now provide a degree of understanding and closure for the families involved.
‘We have offered our continued sympathies and sincere condolences,’ the statement continues. BADA ‘trusts that this will now enable a speedy conclusion to any further investigations and enable the Coroner to fulfil due process.
Significantly, the Association notes that the AAIB ‘found no conclusive causal factors arising from either maintenance or organisational issues. [BADA] recognises, as with so many human endeavours, that Human Factors played a considerable part in this tragic accident.’
The Association believes that the management team of the Shoreham Airshow ‘collectively delivered an event in accordance with all CAA guidance and regulations extant at the time’.
‘[As] an organisation committed to improving safety and standards… we look forward to engaging with any DfT review of UK Air Display flying called for in the report, noting that a huge amount of work has already been undertaken to identify measures to enhance safety and that great care must be taken to ensure any new regulation genuinely delivers improved safety.
‘BADA hopes that such a review will build upon the sixty-plus years of safely delivered airshows in the UK. The Association recognises
the vital contribution the air display community has made [in] inspiring young people into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) related careers in aerospace and defence, [and] energising and enriching local economies.’
Noting that air displays raise vast amounts for charities and attract around six million spectators a year in the UK, the Association urges that ‘whilst recognising that both the regulatory and management regimes must continue to keep safety issues under the closest review, [BADA] fervently believes that the popularity of airshows and the critical national purpose they serve must be preserved’.