THE final event of the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford, the Hangar Party awards ceremony, was the occasion for a presentation to Tim Prince, who has stepped down as Chief Executive of the airshow after 42 years.

Following the presentation of the awards, Air Marshal Sir Kevin Leeson, chairman of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust and president of RIAT, paid tribute to Tim.

He spoke of Tim’s role in starting, developing and presiding over the biggest military airshow in the world and said: “Tim has given most of his working life to the Air Tattoo and to aviation more widely, and I’m sure we all want to wish him well in his retirement. The RIAT family is very sad to see Tim moving on. He will hand over to his successor Andy Armstrong later this week, and Andy is looking forward to continuing the tradition of excellence and delivering the kind of displays and shows that Tim has established as his record.

He added: “I know all of you will wish to recognise Tim’s outstanding achievements of 43 years of unstinting dedication.”

Alan Smith, chairman of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Enterprises, then presented the RIAT Sword of Merit to Tim, amid tumultuous applause.