A HUGE airshow which has not taken place in 22 years hopes to “fill the gap” left by end of the RAF Leuchars spectacle.
The Scottish International Airshow, which last took place in 1992, is set to dazzle spectators at Prestwick in Ayrshire in September next year.
Organisers hope to persuade the RAF to become a key part in the event, with the Red Arrows display team once again taking to the skies above Scotland.
The final RAF Leuchars airshow took place earlier this month, before the air base is handed over to the Army.
In its heyday, the Scottish International Airshow attracted up to 100,000 spectators and featured a prototype Concorde in 1972, four years before it entered service.
Officials at Prestwick airport say they would welcome the chance to revive the airshow, which will be part of the Prestwick World Festival of Flight
George Kerevan, chairman of the festival which the airshow will be part of, said: “Everybody remembers the Prestwick airshows of the 1970s and 1980s, which attracted an audience of 100,000 people.
“Given time and organisation I think we can see those numbers again.“Everyone in Scotland is saddened by the demise of the Leuchars air show. We at Prestwick intend to fill that gap.”
He said there were also commercial reasons behind the need for the airshow: “Scotland plays a major role in the international aerospace industry.
“Firms at Prestwick like Spirit AeroSystems make wing parts for Boeing and Airbus.“We need a serious air show at Prestwick as a shop window for our aerospace companies.”
Mr Kerevan said preliminary talks have already been held with Prestwick airport and South Ayrshire council.
The airport’s long runway means large aircraft can land and take off from it, and its extensive tarmac also makes it ideal for diplaying aircraft in an airshow.
The airport’s chief executive Iain Cochrane said: “We would welcome the opportunity to explore hosting an air show as these events have been very popular and successful in the past.”
An RAF spokesman said: “We are currently conducting a review of all air show commitments, and while it is inappropriate to pre-empt the outcome of this work, the RAF are very aware that there are many events throughout Scotland that would welcome RAF involvement, including a number of already established air shows such as those in Prestwick, and East Fortune.
“No decisions have been made for the year 2014 onwards but the review is giving serious consideration to various options, including a replacement for the Leuchars air show.
“It aims to report before the end of 2013.”
As well as the Red Arrows, organisers hope to bring the RAF’s Battle of Britain memorial flight to Prestwick, including Spitfire, Lancaster and Hurricane aircraft seen during the Second World War.
It could also host a Vulcan bomber, which was built to carry the UK’s nuclear weapons in the 1960s, as well as a fleet of passenger aircraft.