AMBITIOUS plans have been unveiled to revive a popular air show at a North-East airport.

Bosses at Durham Tees Valley Airport today (Monday, November 19) revealed proposals to stage a grand spectacle in the skies above the venue for the first time in 24 years.

Colin Granton, chairman of the Friends of Durham Tees Valley Airport, said they hoped to attract the Red Arrows, RAF Tornado and Falcons Parachute demonstration teams and helicopers and glider displays for an air show at the airport, near Darlington, on June 22 next year.

Mr Granton, a private pilot, said it would provide the North-East with a huge tourist boost, and predicted the event could even rival Sunderland International Air Show.

He said: “It will be massive for the area and everyone we speak to wants the air show back.

“It could certainly rival Sunderland, not on scale, but certainly on the impact visitors will get.

“The aircraft at Sunderland are there in high volume but are also quite far away.

“This air show will have the planes, helicopters, and aerobatic teams flying past people at the same great speed, but they will be much closer.

“The hotels, restaurants and bars will also benefit because people come from far and wide to watch these shows.”

Mr Granton was speaking at the launch of the Friends of Durham Tees Valley Group, which was formed by 50 flying enthusiasts to promote the airport’s profile.

The team, based upon similar schemes at Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Sheffield Airport, will support existing airport management teams and carry out roles such as planning major events, helping to keep the airport open during extreme weather and providing assistance to passengers.

Robert Hough, chairman of Durham Tees Valley Airport, said: “Airports are all about communities and I know that this friends group will deliver the passion and pride that this one needs.

“The group are a real grass roots expression of support towards the airport, and I look forward to working with them in a shared ambition of making this airport the success we all believe it can be.”