Airshow To Replace Racing This Fall At Reno


The National Air Races may have left Reno Stead Airport, but that doesn’t mean the skies will be entirely quiet next fall. An announcement on the Reno Air Racing Association Facebook page trumpets a “BIG SHOW” to run Oct. 4-6, 2024, at the airport. Though pylon racing will not be part of the menu, the event will “celebrate 60 years of aviation excitement at Reno,” according to the announcement. The Reno Air Racing Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has hosted the National Championship Air Races, which are currently exploring options on where to conduct the next air races—scheduled to resume in 2025 after a hiatus following the decision to discontinue the event at Reno.

Performers for the 2023 show are set to include the U.S. Navy Blue Angels demonstration team, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds and the U.S. Air Force F-16 Viper Demo Team. The association says to stay tuned for more details on the upcoming show, including ticket sales information.

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.


  1. Remember back in the 70’s & 80’s as a kid, big airshows I attended were nearly always free. Sometimes $15 or $10 for parking.

    This new one in Reno will cost a mint per seat with VIP party tents and Flightline box seats. Our local airshow in Salinas as $44 per person to stand behind all the VIP & preferred seating. Also $20 to park. Bottled water priced higher than 100LL.

    Yuck! No thanks. Our tax payer demonstration team are largely seen at paid for events, at least here on the West coast. Hope that’s not the cast in your area.

    Hopefully Reno’s new show is worth the scratch to get in.

      • I actually miss-typed it was $5 to $10. Only some shows charged for parking but most did not. Most shows had Government flight teams on public airports. Local National Guard air units, special flight demo’s from air force, and a headliner like T-birds or Blue Angels. Lots of military displays. Now the entire show is privateers with a US Mil flight team as headliner.

        1979 or 80 Saw an amazing airshow at Grissom AFB. Air-to-air refueling demo and a live-fire ground attack simulation of A-37 Dragonfly. So good remember it to this day. All afternoon was like that. Free parking free admission.

  2. I had understood that the Air Races left because of local sentiment about noise and safety concerns with so much population growth in the area. I’m surprised this was approved by the local powers that be. Of course, it’s only three days; not a week, but still.

  3. I was told by the CO of the Snow Birds in 2019 when I asked him about Reno, He said they would love to fly their but they can’t because of the anemic performance of their airplane at the high DA.
    I pity the investor of the next Reno show as they will likely be having a write off on their tax returns.

  4. So, they can have an air “show”, but not an air race? Are they now going to have an air “show” every year? As to the money angle, didn’t the air race bring a good amount of that? It would be nice to have an up front, like the opening paragraph, explanation of what the real story is. I’d say a lot of people are scratching their heads like I am. My tolerance for bs meter has been pegged for years now.

  5. I just checked the Blues and T birds are not scheduled for Reno however the Snowbirds are scheduled to perform. As they say schedule subject to change.

  6. Without the racing it will draw about the same size crowd as other local airshows gather. It will mainly be local residents from the greater Reno area, but few, if any would travel any distance to see it.