Farnborough Air Show

Mother Nature, Red Tape Causing Show Headaches

 - July 9, 2012, 3:10 AM
Farnborough is for flying, but a combination of near-Biblical flooding and Olympic-size bureaucratic snarls have cut down the roster of performers. Photo: David McIntosh

More than a week of almost incessant torrential rain will do little to dampen the industry’s ardor for this morning’s opening of the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow. But it has certainly posed huge challenges for organizers who have worked around the clock to try to minimize the anticipated disruption.

Another setback emerged on Friday when it was confirmed that the eagerly anticipated appearance by a pair of Sukhoi Su-27 fighters from the Russian Knights aerobatic display team has been cancelled. The main reason seems to have been difficulties in getting UK visas for team members–a headache that has also posed problems for other trade visitors from countries requiring a visa. Delays in visa processing have been blamed on a backlog ahead of the London Olympic Games, which start just over two weeks from now on July 27.

Another flying display absentee is the A400M military transport. Last week, it was officially named the Atlas but continuing engine trouble will keep it out of the Farnborough skies this week.