HEAD organiser of the RAF Air Tattoo Alan Smith will be one of several people in the county to be commended in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Mr Smith, chairman of RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises (RAFCTE), organisers of the annual airshow in Fairford, has been as a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE).

He has been an Air Tattoo volunteer since its early days at Greenham Common.

As a senior figure in the leisure and retailing industries, Mr Smith was keen to apply his considerable business skills to help establish the Air Tattoo as a financially successful and world-class event.

Mr Smith said: “Whilst it is a great honour to have been included in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, it really reflects the fantastic work performed by the Air Tattoo’s dedicated permanent members of staff and by our incredible team of volunteers.

"It’s a privilege not only to be a part of the airshow’s success story but also to see the impact the RAF’s newest charity is having on young people’s lives.”

RAF Charitable Trust Chairman Air Marshal Sir Kevin Leeson, sent his "heartiest congratulations" to the Air Tattoo stalwart. 

He said: "This is well-deserved recognition for Alan’s tremendous efforts with both the RAF Benevolent Fund and the RAF Charitable Trust for over 27 years.

“For 12 years, as both a Trustee and Chairman, Alan reorganised the Charity and found fresh income streams, making it the highly-acclaimed endeavour, which has now taught over 400 disabled people to fly.

"He has been an inspiration to us all and has devoted enormous time to the success of the enterprise in a multitude of unremunerated roles.

“He has been a dynamic Non-Executive Director and latterly an inspirational Chair of RAFCTE for over 11 years and has been a Trustee of RAFCT for the past six years.

"In this time, we have benefitted from Alan’s leadership, drive and business skills that have been so instrumental in enriching the lives of RAF personnel, fund a wide range of activities of the Air Cadet Organisation and inspire young people in aviation careers.”

Other names in the Queen's Birthday Honours, announced on Saturday, June 17, include police officer Det Sgt Nigel Hatten, Neil Philip Le Chevalier, director of operations at South Western Ambulance Service (SWAST) and Sarah Patricia Connolly, for her services to music in Stroud.