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Final airshow at RAF Mildenhall could be on the cards

Crowds walk through a giant Galaxy transport aircraft at the last Mildenhall Air Fete in May 2001 ANL-150318-173257001
Crowds walk through a giant Galaxy transport aircraft at the last Mildenhall Air Fete in May 2001 ANL-150318-173257001

A Forest Heath councillor has said he will push for the Pentagon to allow a final air show at RAF Mildenhall before its closure.

Councillors heard last week that the Ministry of Defence (MOD), which owns the site, will make a decision about any future military use by September.

At three meetings to discuss the USAF base’s closure from 2019, Forest Heath District Council argued its future should be decided at a local level, a view backed by members of the community.

And Cllr James Waters, the council’s leader, has also revealed that one last airshow before the base’s closure could be on the cards.

“It would be brilliant to have a final airshow, and I’ve been told the idea will be put to the Pentagon,” he said.

“People miss the airshows, when the bases were that much more open and people could integrate more.”

Of the MOD’s announcement, Cllr Waters said: “I think we will have a decision from them in our original timeframe.

“Our communities agree with us that if the site is redeveloped, infrastructure including transport, health and education will need to be included at an early stage in the development.

“Their chief concern is that the site is not mothballed by the MOD – it is the drum that I have been beating at both MAM meetings to date.”

Cllr Waters said the council, along with local businesses, was seeking further clarification about the timescale for RAF Lakenheath’s expansion in order to ensure ‘appropriate infrastructure’ can be put in place.

“The extensive expansion at RAF Lakenheath in the future is going to be massive for the local economy. If anything happens we need to have the appropriate infrastructure to deal with it,” he said.


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