HUNDREDS of people braved wind and rain for an open day held by Save Coventry Airport campaigners on Saturday.
A number of attractions took place during the event at the Baginton airfield which is subject to controversial plans for a massive electric car battery plant.
The organisers said although scores of aircraft were forced to cancel due to unfavourable weather conditions and despite putting it together at short notice ‘with little help from the airfield itself’, the show of support still ‘exceeded all expectations’ and ‘it was a resounding success’.
They said the option of moving the event to the following day when there were sunny skies was unavailable because the airfield was forced to shut on Sundays and Mondays.
Instead, many visitors opted for a ‘virtual flight’ with Midlands Flight Simulators, which was running four sims throughout the day to cope with demand and raised nearly £300 for local charity Myton Hospice.
Virtual experiences were also on offer from local flying training provider Almat Flying Academy, which welcomed record numbers of guests and the site’s oldest tenants Coventry Aero Club also saw terrific turnout. It was assisted by fire vehicles and demonstrations.
Resident Nimrod and Shackleton static aircraft conducted constant tours throughout the day, while the last airworthy ex-RAF Vampire jet roared its engine into life in a defiant display.
Aviation journalist Charlotte Bailey said: “The support surrounding the campaign to recognise the value of this national asset is eminently apparent, not just from those involved in aviation itself but from many others speaking out today.”
The plans were agreed by Warwick District Council’s planning committee on Tuesday and will be considered by Coventry City Council tomorrow.
If Coventry City Council backs the plans on Thursday, the final decison would rest with Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, as the development site is within the greenbelt.