When we started this post, we didn’t realise quite how many airshows there are out there in the world. So consider this more of a ‘some of the big airshows that you might want to see (but that might also cause issues at airports you are likely to fly into)’ calendar. And let us know if you think you’ve spotted one to add!
The UK has loads of airshows planned for 2023. Go here for a full (but possibly not exhaustive) list. Most of these take place at smaller (and non-international) airports. So they might cause some airspace restrictions in their general vicinity, but we won’t sit and tell you about them all in turn.
- We will mention the Bournemouth Airshow though.
Make that an ‘Air Festival’ actually. And not just air – land and sea too! This is a major airshow which takes place August 31- September 3. It will probably take EGHH/Bournemouth out as an alternate option for the days it is on, and you can expect some airspace things to be aware of in the general, just below London, sort of area.
- We will also point out the Royal Air Tattoo.
This is the largest military airshow in the UK, held on the July 15-16 at EGVA/RAF Fairford. This can have some impact on flights into London, and around the southwest region of the UK with aircraft heading in from all over the UK and beyond.
- The next Farnborough Airshow is in 2024 so no comment on that today.
- The Coronation of King Charles is likely to involve an Air Show, with some airspace restrictions.
It takes place on May 6. You can also expect higher traffic into the UK around this period, probably some strict security and airspace restrictions around London during it.
From the 19th-25th June what is probably the biggest air show and aviation exhibition event in the world will take place – the Paris Airshow. The skies of Paris will be thrumming with the sound of all sort of airplane engines, and all the airports will be fairly hideously busy.
- LFPB/Le Bourget will be off limits for all but those actually ‘at’ the show.
- LFPG/Paris Charles de Gaulle is right next door but this is a major international airport and unlikely to have all that much additional space to accommodate you.
- LFPO/Paris Orly is the ‘other’ international airport. Also busy, but less busy the de Gaulle.
- LFPT/Paris Pontoise-Cormeilles Airport is up the road and worth looking into for parking. They do not have customs there though so it would be an entry somewhere else then park here job.
- Slightly further afield LFOB/Paris Beauvais-Tille Airport offers customs.
- LFOK/Paris-Vatry (Chalons) Airport is also in the vicinity. This is mostly used for cargo.
Europe is of course quite big, and each country likes to hold an Airshow now and then. Many are smaller ones and to keep the length down, I have decided to only post ones that I have heard of, which take place at big international airports (or close enough to them to impact them).
So, for a more detailed list of airshows in Europe in 2023, check here.
Dubai’s big (trying, and might even succeed in being bigger than Paris) airshow takes place in November. Specifically November 13-17.
The airshow takes places at OMDW/Dubai World, also known Al Maktoum, which takes that out as an option for getting into the UAE, and parking your aircraft unless you’ve asked early enough. But worry not, one thing the UAE does well (and in quantity) is airports.
You have a whole bunch of options nearby:
- OMDB/Dubai International
- OMAD/Al Bateen executive (Abu Dhabi)
- OMAA/Abu Dhabi
- OMAL/Al Ain
There are usually a fair few airspace restrictions and things to know nearer the time so keep an eye out for those.
OK, we thought the UK had a lot. Turns out (unsurprisingly, given something like 50% of the worlds airports are in the US) that they win on the airshow quantity.
We found this rather handy site listing a whole load of them. It’s a good resource for checking airshow dates at some of the smaller airports you might be heading into.
- We figured it would be worth highlighting Oshkosh
This takes place at KOSH/Wittman regional airport on July 24-30.
- One of the biggest airshow events in the US is the Miramar Air Show which takes place over 3 days (suggested to be September 23-25 this year).
It is held in San Diego at KNKX/Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, and sees a huge amount of military traffic heading into the area. You can expect some restrictions at KSAN/San Diego and its airspace during this time.
- Canada’s main Airshow, the Abbortsford Air Show, takes place at CYXX/Abbotsford on August 11-13.
Again, not at an airport you might be heading directly to, but likely to result in some airspace restrictions in the area so keep a look out.
Around the Pacific and Asia sort of areas
- The Pacific Airshow takes place in the Gold Coast, Australia between August 18-20.
This is originally a US (Huntingdon Beach) based event. In true Australia style, it takes place over a beach, but the main airport used is YBCG/Gold Coast. There can be impact to the airspace for YBBN/Brisbane as well (and you probably don’t want to plan YBCG as your alternate).
- You also have the Malaysia hosted LIMA 2023 Langkawi exhibition May 23-27.
This isn’t just an airshow. It is actually a massive conference sort of thing, but they do a lot of air displays at it (military and civilian) and these may well impact WMKK/Kuala Lumpur and WMSA/Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah airports.
- The Seoul ADEX (Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition) 2023 event takes place between October 17-22.
Although not exactly just an air show either, it does involve some large amounts of air showing so we figured we would add it in here.
- The Singapore Air Show isn’t due until February 20-25 2024 so we’ll mention that more another time.
It isn’t just Air Shows…
Of course, it isn’t just Air Shows specifically which limit capacity at airports and cause disruption. Major sporting events tend to cause them to fill up fast, busy aviation conferences see higher traffic numbers heading in, while big political stuff sees higher levels of security and often flight restrictions…
But my fingers hurt so we’ll post about all of that another time 🙂