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Cotswold Airport Hosts Large-scale Emergency Training Exercise

Emergency services from across the country recently spent three days at Cotswold Airport taking part in a large-scale training exercise to practice their major incident response.

The three-day training exercise – organised thanks to Cotswold Airport and Air Salvage International – involved multiple scenarios, including a plane crash, a terrorist attack, trapped casualties and the discovery of an identified device and suspected nerve agent. As part of this training, the police declared Operation Plato and Operation Tapestry – rarely exercised – in response to the staged terrorist attacks.

The exercise was organised and facilitated by Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS). Firefighters from Avon, Gloucestershire, Dorset & Wiltshire, West Midlands and Hereford & Worcester Fire & Rescue Service, as well as Cotswold Airport, attended and worked collaboratively with police, ambulance, and military colleagues to respond to a number of casualties seeking medical assistance. Members of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) were also in attendance.

Volunteers from the Casualties Union and staff and students from Hartpury College were also involved in the exercise, playing the part of casualties to provide realism for those involved in the training. The Rapid Relief Team, a charity supporting communities in need and providing relief in emergencies, were on hand to serve refreshments throughout the three-day exercise.    

Shane Saunders, Watch Manager at Hicks Gate Fire Station, said: “This training exercise has provided an exciting and unique opportunity for Urban Search and Rescue, firefighters, paramedics, police, military, and facilitators to test their reaction to a major incident involving aircrafts.

“Although we hope we’ll never be called to such a devastating incident, it’s vital that we practice our response and how we work alongside other agencies.”

Shane added: “I’d like to say a special thank you to all the hardworking individuals – within AF&RS and externally – involved in the planning, preparing and facilitation of the training exercise. It’s been three years in the making as we wanted to ensure there was plenty for everyone in attendance to properly apply their knowledge, experience, and skills to different scenarios – and it was successful in doing that.”

Suzannah Harvey, CEO Cotswold Airport commented, “Whist we always pray that we never have to experience these situations in the real world, preparedness is key, and we are proud to be able to host these vital training exercises to support our emergency and armed forces on-site at Cotswold Airport.”

Matt Armstrong, Area Manager for Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service said: “This training exercise has provided a fantastic opportunity for us to work in collaboration with other services, partners, and organisations as well as enabling us to assure our levels of response to significant incidents.

“Simulated incidents are developed to reflect potential real-life scenarios ensuring that we are fully prepared and can respond effectively and appropriately when we are needed.

“Ourselves and our partners train extensively to develop strong working relationships and share knowledge to ensure that we can deliver the highest level of emergency response to our communities.”


A Night Flight to Remember – Top Gun Open Air Cinema Returns

For all those thrill seekers looking for the ultimate open-air cinema experience, the original Top Gun and Top Gun: Maverick will be showing over two nights in the shadow of the mighty ‘Negus’ Boeing 747 at Cotswold Airport.

The open air cinema experience returns for two nights only on Friday 9th & Sat 10th August 2024.

Tickets are available here:

Want to buzz the tower with us for a big two-nighter? We’re feeling the need to visit Cotswold Airport near Cirencester for two back-to-back dates this summer with open-air screenings of the original TOP GUN and the incredible follow-up TOP GUN: MAVERICK.There’s no better location for these legendary movies, with our screen positioned in the shadow of the huge and impressive B747 Negus, a former British Airways aircraft that now has a permanent home at Cotswold Airport. Come on, let’s do the double!

Top Gun will be screening on Friday 9 August, with Top Gun: Maverick on Saturday 10 August. Gates open 7.30pm and the film starts at 9pm on both nights, with TG ending at 10.50pm on Friday, and TGM ending at 11.10pm on Saturday.

Seating Types: Premium Deckchair Seats – deckchairs in premium positions close to the screen. Bring Your Own Seat Adult – age 16 and over, please bring your own low-backed camping chairs, picnic rugs, deckchairs or similar. Bring Your Own Seat Concession – under 16s, students, military and emergency services staff (relevant ID is required on the night)

Food and Drink: A bar will be in operation at the shows, and bar snacks, ice cream and popcorn will also be available. Please don’t bring your own alcohol to the events. Bag searches may be in operation.

Directions/Parking: free parking is available at the venue. Please follow staff advice and signage. For directions to Cotswold Airport, please click HERE

Other Information: Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. Both films are rated 12A.

Weather policy: screenings go ahead in all but worst weathers. Only if there’s heavy, prolonged rain or high winds forecast will the screening be postponed or cancelled. No refunds will be given unless the screening is cancelled.

Events Negus747

The Flight Before Christmas 2024 – Tickets Now On-Sale

While Christmas may seem a long way off, you have to get in early to secure your seat for THE experience of the Season!

Listed as one of the Times’ Top 7 Festive Days Out 2023, The Flight Before Christmas takes off once again at Cotswold Airport in November 2024.

The Worlds only Christmas Grotto based in a Boeing 747 provides a unique festive experience for the whole family.

This is a world-first experience that’s guaranteed to create unforgettable memories. General Admission tickets start at £39.50 per child and £20 per adult. Further information and tickets can be found online here.

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MOD Celebrates Family Day at Cotswold Airport

MOD civilians and military colleagues recently hosted a family day at Cotswold Airport, their 3rd such annual event raising £14,000 for service related charities.

With the support of Cotswold Airport, local businesses, Gloucestershire police and voluntary groups, roughly 1000 enjoyed a day which offered something for probably just about everyone. Flypast and static displays of classic / vintage aircraft, vintage and super-cars, demonstrations by Glospol armed response and traffic, classic music, historical re-enactment by Gloucester Community Networking, and history displays included genuine artefacts from Stalag Luft III Prison Camp (The Great Escape) and from the MI9 the Special Operations Executive (SOE), Dowty aerospace technologies and award winning Cotswold Ales.

The formalities of cheque presentations were conducted Monday 2nd October at GCHQ Cheltenham with two presentations of £7,000 each to representatives from Soldiers Sailors Airman Family Association SSAFA and Combat Stress

One of the cheques presented (photo in Image link) was by the GCHQ historian Dr Dave Abrutat to Sir Francis Richards; former Director GCHQ and Commander in Chief Governor of Gibraltar, now president of the SSAFA Gloucestershire branch. Apart from the obvious connection to Sir Francis, it was fitting that GCHQ was chosen as they proudly work to support the military. Particularly in the last 30 years, wherever and whenever British forces have deployed GCHQ has increasingly supported through the forward deployment of its own staff.

The MOD and fundraisers would like to go on record to express their gratitude to Cotswold Airport and staff for their support and generosity over the years, to enable the raising of many thousands of pounds and deliver a great day for all.