London coronation flypast could be scaled back or cancelled in bad weather, says Ministry of Defence

The Red Arrows perform over RAF Odiham in Hampshire during the RAF Odiham Families Day. Picture…
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The Red Arrows Credit: PA

A flypast to celebrate the coronation could be scaled back and even cancelled in poor weather, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said. Forecasters expect conditions in London to be cloudy and wet on Saturday, which could hamper the ability of pilots to fly safely. More than 60 aircraft from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force – including the Red Arrows – are scheduled to fly over The Mall and Buckingham Palace at around 2.15pm. The King and Queen Consort are due to appear on the Palace balcony with other members of the royal family to watch the six-minute flypast. Asked about the potential for the flypast to be disrupted by the weather, an MoD spokesman said: “There are certain weather limits in terms of cloud base and visibility for a flypast involving a large number of aircraft which will need to be met. “The latest weather information will be obtained from both the Met Office and from our helicopters performing weather checks in advance of the main flypast on Saturday.

“If suitable, the flypast will continue as planned. If not, then there are options available to reduce the numbers of aircraft, with cancellation being the last resort. “Clearly there are many things the MoD does control, but the weather is not one of them. “Safety will always be our primary concern.”

The Met Office expects Saturday to be a “cloudy, wet day” across large parts of the UK, with rain falling on London “by around lunchtime”. There were fears the flypast for the late Queen’s coronation in June 1953 would be called off due to bad weather, but after conditions improved it went ahead at 5.15pm after a delay.

If the flypast goes ahead this time the exact route of the aircraft will not be published in advance for security reasons.

But airspace restrictions have been announced, revealing the areas being flown over.

The restrictions have been split into eight zones, each with a specific time slot to prevent the aircraft being disrupted by other pilots.

These are the areas and times where people may be able to see some of the flypast aircraft:

– Area A between 1.15pm and 3pm: The Lincolnshire coast including Skegness and the Norfolk coast including Cromer and Great Yarmouth.

– Area B between 1.45pm and 3pm: Thetford, Norfolk and Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

– Area C between 2pm and 3pm: Ipswich, Suffolk.

– Area D between 2pm and 2.45pm: Colchester and Chelmsford, Essex.

– Area E between 2.10pm and 2.45pm: London

– Area F between 2.20pm and 3pm: Croydon, south-east London, and Epsom, Surrey.

– Area G between 2.20pm and 3pm: Farnborough, Hampshire; Reading, Berkshire; Swindon, Wiltshire; and Oxford, Oxfordshire.

– Area H between 2.20pm and 3pm: East Gloucestershire and west Oxfordshire.

– Area I between 2.20pm and 3pm: Marlborough and Tidworth, Wiltshire.

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