Red Arrows cancel display at Southport Air Show due to weather

0909 Red Arrows cockpit
View from one of the Red Arrows cockpit at Blackpool Credit: X:@rafredarrows

The iconic Red Arrows have had to cancel their planned display at Southport Air Show due to weather conditions.

They were expected to thunder through the skies over the resort at noon on Saturday 9 September, but minutes ahead of their scheduled flight, an announcement over the event's PA system broke the news to guests, apologising for the "massive disappointment" the cancellation will cause.

A post also appeared on the Red Arrows' social media feeds which said: "Unfortunately, our display at Southport Air Show has been cancelled due to a very wet runway at Blackpool Airport and low cloud, which is unsuitable for close formation display flying."

A photo of a view from one of the cockpits was also posted, which showed rain on the windscreen, and two of the other iconic red jets on the wet looking runway, with the words "Sorry Southport Air Show".

Joe Salthouse from Blackpool also sent ITV Granada Reports a photo of the Red Arrrows fleet grounded minutes ahead of the scheduled display.

Red Arrows grounded at Blackpool Airport Credit: X:@Joe_Salthouse

The Red Arrows have been stationed at Blackpool Airport ahead of the event after flying up north on Friday, 8 September, with many people spotting them flying over the River Mersey as they made their way to the seaside.

It is understood the Red Arrows are still set to perform a fly-past later today but will be unable to perform their much-anticipated display.

In a thread on X (formerly Twitter) Wing Cdr Adam Collins, who is the Officer Commanding The Red Arrows explained in more detail the reasons behind the cancellation.

He said: "We’re disappointed that we couldn’t display at the Southport airshow, but unexpected heavy showers, localised to Blackpool meant the runway would not be safe for us to land on after the display.

"None of the other airfields close to Southport were available for use this weekend.

"Unfortunately the runway wouldn’t have dried in time for our display. Delaying until later in the day isn’t an option - we have a large column of restricted airspace specifically for our safety that is only active for a few minutes either side of our planned display time window.

"That restricted airspace time window is booked weeks in advance with the Civil Aviation Authority and cannot be changed on the day. It’s limited in duration to allow other aircraft into the area when we’re not planning to fly."

The Red Arrows finally left Blackpool Airport at 2:15pm to head off to Scotland where they were scheduled to do a display at the Ayr Show Festival of Light at 5:34pm.

It's understood the Red Arrows may do a flypast later in the day Credit: PA

Other planes will take to the skies at Southport as planned, including an RAF Typhoon, and a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Thousands of people are expected to head to Southport over the weekend as the event takes place on Saturday September 9 and Sunday September 10.