Air show gaining interest

By Southern Riverina News

More than 5000 people are set to converge on the Tocumwal Aerodrome this September for an inaugural air show, in what promises to be a massive economic boost for small businesses and community groups.

Murray Border Flying Club committee member Matt Henderson said air shows are strong draw cards across the country and it’s has been ‘‘too long’’ since Tocumwal hosted an air show.

‘‘These are major public tourism events and I’ve been to show in Temora that have pulled more than 20,000 people.

‘‘A regular airshow would attract anywhere between 6000 to 8000 people. Air shows don’t happen a lot which is why they attract people.

‘‘I believe the last time Tocumwal hosted an air show was in 1978, and all I know is an old crop duster flew into a tree on the day.

‘‘At the moment Murray Border Flying Club is leading the organising and we’re working with Paul Bennet Airflows who run about 35 air shows.’’

The Tocumwal Air Show is expected to feature roulettes, fast jets and other classic aircraft.

Mr Henderson said the event will bring people and tourism dollars to the Berrigan Shire.

‘‘The event will cost a bit of money but they also make money, and what ever revenue or surplus we get out of the event will be returned to local community groups who get involved.

‘‘We’ve engaged with Tocumwal Chamber of Commerce, Tocumwal Foreshore Committee, Lions, Rotary and any other group who can provide man-power.

‘‘We’re sure it will book out the accommodation in Tocumwal and booking have been made for pilots and others.

‘‘The major cost of the event is the fuel that goes into the aircraft. Most of them that come to the event we don’t pay for, the usual arrangement is we pay for the fuel including the transport cost.’’

Mr Henderson said the event has already attracted plenty of interest from outside the Berrigan Shire.

‘‘The people who have interacted with us on our Facebook page are mainly females between the ages of 25 to 35, and from what we know most of them have children. Quite a few are from Melbourne and Sydney.

‘‘This is a tourism event for Tocumwal, it has the aviation draw card. It’s not just about bringing people to Tocumwal but highlighting the region.’’

The Tocumwal Air Show will be held Saturday, September 14.