To encourage, promote and advance Safety and Standards in British Air Displays’
In 2009 a meeting of a few airshow organisers was held at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford to discuss some of the problems faced by organisers and compare notes. Having recognised the benefits of the meeting an invitation was sent out to the wider airshow community, resulting in over 80 attending a meeting at the 2010 MoD-sponsored post-season symposium at RAF Northolt.
It was the consensus of those attending that an organisation representing the air display industry as a whole in the UK was needed. A working group was appointed who set about looking at the format, articles of association, membership and administrative details required and in April 2011 a Launch event was held and the prospective membership voted to form BADA and appointed the board. Coincident with that decision, the Air Displays Association (Europe) disbanded and its committee confirmed its support for the new Association, encouraging its membership to join BADA.
- Through a Code of Practice, promote safety and professional standards throughout the air display community.
- To be the national representative association for all matters relating to the British Air Display community.
- To encourage high standards of performance for Air Display organisers, Display Directors, Flying Control Committees and Participants.
- To provide a forum for the exchange of information between members.
- To provide an interface between the civilian and military regulatory authorities and members.
- To provide a programme of training and mentoring for new members of the Air Display community.
- To maintain a liaison with other UK aviation related associations and organisations.
- To maintain a liaison with other international Air Display organisations.
- To promote the Air Display community to the media and the public and provide a focal point for information, discussion and informed comment.
- To be a focal point for expert advice on Air Display matters.
- To provide subject matter experts on Air Display issues.
Membership is open to all involved in the air display industry, whether as an individual or corporate body. The aim is to build a membership over time that encompasses all areas of the industry – display pilots, Flying Display Directors, Flying Control Committee members, air traffic controllers and air/ground operators, event organisers, dedicated enthusiasts and supporters, photographers and any others committed to the safe development of the air display community.
At the same time it is hoped to build relationships and affiliations with the UK CAA and MoD, the European Airshow Council and other national and international related associations with the aim of establishing BADA as the focal point for all UK air display-related business.
Code of Conduct
The Association has produced a Code of Practice which can be viewed by clicking here.
Through its Committee and invited members, BADA has a number of specialist groups focused on Operations & Training (FDDs, FCCs, Emergency Planning & ATC/AGCS), Displays (DAEs, Display Pilots/DAs, Aircraft/Team Owners, Air & Ground Ops) and Support (Event Organisers, PR/Social Media, Commentary/Commentary Systems, Health & Safety, STEM). Click the icon below to view the full Management Structure.
The BADA Awards
Each Year, the British Air Display Association recognises those who have made exceptional contributions or achievements within the airshow world. These are awarded at the BADA Annual General Meetings.
The BADA Trophy, sponsored by Hayward Aviation is awarded to an individual or organisation that demonstrates the aims of the association ‘To encourage, promote and advance Safety and Standards in British Air Displays’
The Miss Demeanour Trophy, Gifted by Jonathon Whaley, is for the year’s “unsung hero” – this can be an individual or organisation that ‘went the extra mile’ to deliver a display or event.
President – Sir Gerald Howarth
Vice President – Ian Sheeley
Ian’s love of aviation and air displays began at an early age growing up as he did near Biggin Hill, where he gained his PPL, but it was during his 24 year career in the RAF specialising in Air Traffic Control that his involvement in airshow organisation really began.
His penultimate tour at RAF Brize Norton not only saw him shouldering the responsibility for the Approach Radar facility of the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT), which was staged at nearby RAF Fairford, but also led to his appointment as the Flying Display Manager for the event.
On retirement from the RAF Ian joined the permanent staff organising the RIAT where his wide ranging responsibilities encompassed the Emergency Services, Security and Contingency Planning for the event; concurrently he became the Flying Display Director for 2 of the large annual seafront airshows staged in the UK at Sunderland and Eastbourne.
After 4 years he left the permanent staff and became a freelance Display Director and Aviation Consultant. In his new guise, business grew and led to forming a partnership with Ray Thilthorpe (Thilthorpe – Sheeley Associates) and then when joined by Dave Walton, TSA Consulting Ltd was formed. He did continue his association with RIAT for several more years as one of the volunteer group managers. However, after 14 years, he left the RIAT team to focus on his other business activities.
Vice President – John Turner
In the 1980s, John flew Phantom F4s with the Royal Air Force in Germany, instructed on the Hawk, graduated from the Empire Test Pilots’ School, and commanded the Experimental Flying squadron at RAE Farnborough.
In 1990 he left the RAF to join BAE Systems as an experimental test pilot where he flew Tornado, Hawk, Eurofighter, MT-003 gyrocopter, Nimrod MRA4, ATP and BAe146/RJ and was a Cessna 421, ATP and BAe146 Captain for the company’s airline. He became Chief Test Pilot Nimrod & Strategic Aircraft in 2003 and Director Flight Operations in 2005, with responsibility for the governance of all flying activities conducted by or on behalf of all the parts of BAE Systems plc and BAE Systems Inc. word-wide as well as overseeing and acting as ‘pilot’ for the first flight of the large twin-engine Mantis UAV.
He displayed the Hawk 1992-95 and the Eurofighter/Typhoon at RIAT in 1995, Farnborough in 1996 and at Berlin and Farnborough in 1998. He also displayed the BAE System’s Blackburn B2, an Avro C19 (Anson) and deHavilland DH60 Cirrus Moth and the Shuttleworth Collection’s vintage aircraft. He has served on Flying Control Committees at East Fortune, Farnborough, Clacton, Samlesbury, Southend on Sea, Southport, Margate and Warton and has been Flying Display Director at Farnborough since 2014.
In 2010 John set up John Turner Aviation Consultants Ltd, providing a source of independent and expert advice on aviation matters. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a Liveryman and Director of Aviation Affairs of The Honourable Company of Air Pilots, a member of the A|D|S Flight Operations Committee and a Non-Executive Director of Farnborough International Ltd.
The British Air Display Association Committee is made up of a board of members elected annually by the membership. The Committee represents a cross section of the UK air display industry with each having many years of experience in their particular field.
Chairman – Barry Neal
Barry joined the RAF in 1963 as an RAF Halton Aircraft Apprentice and graduated on a cadet-ship to the RAF College Cranwell. Awarded his commission and pilots’ wings in 1968 he went on to a full RAF career specialising in air-to-air refuelling (AAR) (Victor K1 & K2 and VC10 aircraft, and KC-135 & KC10 aircraft on exchange with the USAF). He was an AAR Instructor and a USAF Instructor Pilot, and was awarded a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air for AAR operations in the 1982 South Atlantic Conflict. His last 7 years in the RAF were spent in flight/aviation safety during which time he gained a Certificate in Aviation Safety Management from the Southern California Safety Institute (Safety & Risk Management, Aircraft & Incident Investigation, and Human Factors), and was the UK representative to the NATO Flight Safety Working Group. He also monitored military aircraft participation in civilian flying displays and, in 2003, became an Air Display Association Europe (ADAE) certificated flying display director. On retirement from the RAF he founded, and is Managing Partner of, Aviation Safety Associates llp, an aviation safety consultancy specialising in safety & risk management, human factors, and flying display safety. He was the display advisor for the 2000 Royal Military Tattoo, London, and the 2002 Queen’s Golden Jubilee Visit to the Armed Forces, Portsmouth. He has been flying display director at Guernsey (currently), Plymouth and Elvington, and on flying control committees at Guernsey, Kemble, Babbacombe and Dawlish (currently). Barry is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, a Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and a former member of ADAE and a founder Member of BADA.
Chief Executive – George Bacon MBE TD
George holds a Commercial Pilot’s Licence/Instrument Rating and he has accumulated almost 4000hrs on around 20 different aircraft types. He is also a Civil Aviation Authority accredited Air Accident Investigator, Crew Resource Management Instructor, Flying Display Director and Event Commentator. By day, he is also the Manager of the Army’s Blue Eagles and Historic Flight Display Teams and selects Pilots for the Army Air Corps.
Geoff served in the Royal Air Force as a fast-jet pilot, primarily on Lightning and Phantom aircraft. He was the last Station Commander at RAF Wildenrath and also served as the UK’s Senior Military representative in Oman. Geoff was the Lightning display pilot at the International Air Tattoo in the 1970’s before joining the IAT volunteer team as Flying Display Manager. Since then he has served on the Flying Control Committee and as Flying Display Director at RIAT and on the FCC at numerous other airshows including Sunderland, Eastbourne, Duxford, East Fortune and Al Ain.
John completed a full career as a pilot in the RAF as a Test Pilot, Instructor and Staff Qualified. He then joined CAA in 1988 where he was responsible for regulating General Aviation flying, which included being responsible for issuing Permissions/Exemptions for all Flying Displays and associated events in UK. This included the inspection of Airshows throughout the summer months.Since 1995, he has worked independently as an FDD/FCC member at numerous events in UK and at Belgian and Dutch civil and military Airshows. He is also the civilian FCC representative for the RAF Waddington Airshow. John joined the ADA(E) in 1995 and was its Chairman for the last 8 years during which time he has directed numerous European Display Director Workshops.
Peter’s first professional involvement with the Air Display industry was during the summer of 2013, when he worked as the Flight Operations Officer for Air Atlantique, working at Newquay Airport, where he oversaw the participation of their classic jets in a number of displays. He studied Aviation Management at Coventry University and for his final year dissertation conducted a critical appraisal of the current state of the UK Airshow Industry. Since 2014 Peter has been involved with the RAF Cosford Air Show, starting out as a part time member of the team and increasing his involvement over the years. He is currently employed full-time at RAF Cosford as the Air Show Operations Manager. Peter is also a keen aviation photographer, travelling around the globe in search of rare aircraft, including a visit to North Korea!
Charles’ interest in airshows goes back to his childhood and as a cadet with the RAF Air Cadets was lucky enough to spend 2 weeks with the Red Arrows, achieving a goal early in life with a flight with the team. He supported the RAFGSA’s Glider Display, Team Condor at various shows, before joining the RAF Waddington International Airshow team in 2002, working in various roles, but mainly in the flying display coordination roles until 2015 when the airshow finished. His flying experience started at age 12 and largely stems from the Gliding world and light aircraft flying. He went onto become a Flying Display Director for various events around the UK. He joined the R5 team in 2017 as a Director. Charles is also the Executive of the European Airshow Council, the representative body for the airshow industry and community in Europe. He also brings knowledge of Police operations and Emergency Service and security through his roles within the Police Service.
Mike joined the RAF from school having gained his PPL through a Flying Scholarship. He trained on Chipmunk, Jet Provost, Gnat and Hunter before posting to the Canberra for two tours. After a spell as the Hawk test pilot at Brawdy he spent 10 years flying the Tornado GR1, and GR1a during Gulf War 1. The majority of his career was in flying appointments and he completed his service as a Squadron Leader and QFI. It was during his first ground appointment in Flight Safety, some 17 years ago, that he first became involved in Air Displays. He has served as FDD or on FCCs at Cosford, Jersey, Windermere, Perth, Plymouth, Newtonards, Enniskillen and Manston.
Helen joined the Royal International Air Tattoo® as Head of Marketing in 2008 and is a customer focused marketing professional with over 23 years experience. The Air Tattoo holds the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Military Airshow and attracts 170,000 people each year, becoming a sell out event over the past 10 years. In 2019, 245 aircraft from 39 air arms representing 25 nations took part in the three day flying spectacular which takes place at RAF Fairford each July. The Air Tattoo raises funds for its parent, the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust whose mission is to encourage young people to have an interest in aviation as well as Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). This is a key to many of the activities at the airshow, such as the Techno Zone®.
As marketing and customer experience lead Helen’s role is to develop and implement the strategy to promote the Air Tattoo; engaging with existing and new audiences to sell tickets as well as delivering a great visitor experience. Helen holds a Business & Marketing Degree, is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing as well as volunteer Chair of a nearby Business Club. She is a regular speaker at military and civilian events on how to engage with visitors and market Airshows. Tony de Bruyn of the Bronco Demo Team said; “Helen’s presentations rock! Best insight in successful airshow marketing you’ll ever get”