Airshow to celebrate RAAF history

WELLINGTON Shire Council is seeking to hold an airshow in 2022, to showcase the aviation capability and heritage in Wellington and celebrate the region’s long history with the Royal Australian Air Force.

Expressions of interest are being sought from qualified event organisers to deliver the West Sale Airshow 2022, to be held across the ANZAC weekend, which will also mark the centenary of the RAAF and create a base for an ongoing hallmark event for the region.

The airshow, to be held at West Sale Airport, would provide a significant economic boost for Wellington as it emerges from the impacts of drought, bushfire and Covid-19. It is predicted to attract in excess of 5,000 paying visitors across four days.

“This event will create flow-on benefits for local tourism, accommodation, hospitality and retail operators and it’s also hoped it will spur further investment in West Sale Airport,” Wellington Shire Council Mayor Garry Stephens said.

“The event also puts Wellington in the national spotlight, exposing us to a vast audience who might chose to visit the show in years to come,” Cr Stephens added.

The RAAF has expressed a willingness to support the event with static aircraft displays as well as flyovers, including planes not usually seen in Gippsland.

The event will also be marketed as a Return to Sale for those who have trained or worked at the East Sale base over the years, offering them a chance to reconnect with former colleagues and show loved ones around Sale. Sale RSL will act as a hub for all returning RAAF workers. Tours of RAAF Base East Sale may also be conducted for returning personnel.

The airshow also hopes to secure a display by the RAAF rescue helicopter, a bomb-disposal robot and water-bombing aircraft. A trade show will highlight major and local aviation businesses.

Initial discussions have been held with the Gippsland Vehicle Collection in Maffra about a display of the region’s significant motoring heritage.

Expressions of Interest must be delivered by 5pm this Friday by emailing ashleys@wellington.vic.gov.au

For more information phone Ashley Smirl on 5142 3268 or email ashleys@wellington.vic.gov.au