The Global Aviation Resource network has developed rapidly since our inception in May 2009, and with the milestone of our fourth birthday looming on the horizon, we felt it was time to shake things up a little bit and make some major changes to the way our content is presented.  Welcome, one and all, to the new GAR – overhauled and ready to serve your aviation needs!

Unless you’re a first time visitor to Global Aviation Resource, it should be very clear by now that we’ve donned our rubber gloves, cracked out the feather dusters and had ourselves a bit of a spring clean!

So, we’ve taken a look at what we think works, what doesn’t work and how we can make GAR the very best it can be.  We’ve started from scratch and, over the past few weeks, have designed and built an entirely new homepage for GAR, which we think gives the site a fresh new look for the spring, whilst also making our articles more accessible and ‘user friendly’ for our supporters. Gareth is also delighted to have finally been unchained from the computer desk that he’s called home since we decided to revamp the site…!

Of course, the ‘old’ GAR website – and all of its c.700 articles – is still accessible via the ‘About Us’ > ‘Original GAR’ link on the main menu and all of our original content will remain on that site indefinitely.  We’re also in the process of making changes to Global Aviation Magazine, our digital magazine, to develop that brand further and publish its content to a wider audience.  We’ll be making further announcements regarding GAM in the near future – watch this space!

We’d also like to formally welcome several new staff members to GAR, with Gordon Jones, Steve Comber, Frank Grealish, Greg Marsh and German photographer Christian Bramkamp joining our team.  Already these new additions have contributed some excellent content to the site and indeed, some of their words and images will be at the forefront of our latest GAR articles.  You can find out about our new additions, and all of the team, by visiting our individual profiles in the ‘About Us’ section.

To celebrate the re-launch of GAR, we’ll be running several new and exclusive features throughout this week. Indeed, some of them are here now, as Karl Drage takes a look at the RAF’s new BAe 146-200QC and we report on the most recent Northolt Nightshoot. Coming soon, we’ll find Elliott Marsh exploring the career of Pitts Special pilot Lauren Richardson as well as getting a rundown of the new ‘Classic Air Displays’ organisation from its founder, Stephen Stead. Gareth will also be looking back to last week’s official unveiling of the Dambusters 70th Tornado GR4 with 617 Squadron, the BBMF and TV presenter / historian Dan Snow!

Our team will also be bringing you some terrific (and very varied) photographic content in a series of blogGARs, highlights of which include Karl’s recent encounter with some beautiful French Air Force fighters. In the meantime, check out Tom Gibbons’ blogGAR from Heathrow, Chris Wood’s from Coyote Summit in Nevada and Karl’s from Barcelona – some real variety there already!

As the year goes on, we’ll continue to bring you a varied selection of in-depth articles exploring every facet of aviation; separately, we’ll be providing regular aviation news updates and real-time blogGAR postings to give you the low-down on what’s going on in the aviation world, as it’s happening.

We hope that the combination of ‘bulletin’ news items and our traditional full-length interviews and features, combined with a more frequent use of multimedia to further illustrate our articles, will cater for all your aviation needs.

Looking ahead, we think it’s fair to say that 2013 isn’t going to be the easiest year for aviation and airshows in the UK and beyond; the sequestration cuts in the United States of America have brought about the loss of all US military assets – including the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels demonstration teams – at mainland US and overseas events alike, whilst the financial situation in Europe continues to be rocky at best. In the UK, we’re going to see a major reduction on RAF assets at airshows, with the cancellation of the Hawk, King Air and Tornado GR.4 role demo cutting a swathe through airshow participation lists.

However, we like to look on the bright side and despite having these issues to contend with, the 2013 airshow season is shaping up to be a memorable one in its own right. There’s still plenty to enjoy in the UK and beyond, and we’ll be bringing you coverage of the highs, lows, débuts and retirements as they happen.

Here’s to a successful – and hopefully sunny – 2013!