IF YOU run a business that benefits from the Bournemouth Air Festival or you are an individual with an interest in aviation, then the Bournemouth Air Festival Patrons Club is welcoming new members.

The 2020 season kicked off with a presentation at the Hilton Hotel from Red Arrows communications manager Andy Morton who gave a behind the scenes insight into the successful Red Arrows tour of North America last summer, which meant them missing the Bournemouth Air Festival.

His account of their 11-week deployment across Canada and the United States was packed with anecdotes and photographs of some of the iconic locations they visited to promote British business and the STEM industries.

Patrons ambassador David Bailey said “We’ve started the 2020 season on a high with an opportunity to get up close and personal with the Red Arrows. As always, we are full of pride for this Royal Air Force team which is the envy of the world. We eagerly await news of the line up for this year’s festival which promises something for everyone on land, in the air and at sea.

"Alongside that, we have some good presenters already lined up to meet BAF Patrons at upcoming meetings, so come and join us.”

Club members were entered into a prize draw to win a limited-edition Red Arrows calendar signed by the entire crew, together with an amazing photo, also signed, of The Reds flying over the spectacular Niagara Falls.

Andy Morton said: “Having personally seen how much interest and enjoyment there is in aviation in Bournemouth, I am delighted to be attending this Air Festival Patrons event. For anyone who missed the recent television documentary, it provided a detailed insight into our 2019 tour of North America, during which the Red Arrows supported a range of UK interests and promoted the very best of British, on a global scale.”

The Patrons Club, now in its eleventh year, is an opportunity for local businesses, corporate representatives and individuals who are passionate about the air festival and aviation to come together for informal networking and social events; often with ‘money can’t buy’ opportunities to meet guest presenters, including pilots and military experts.

Anyone is welcome to join the Bournemouth Air Festival Patrons Club. For a minimum charity donation of £250 per year, members and a guest are invited to a series of events throughout the year with complimentary drinks and canapes at local venues. Annual membership contributions help fund the Night Air displays as well as the Air Festival’s nominated charities.