Canadian Airshow Goes With Drive-In Format


The USAF Thunderbirds will do a full airshow performance in September but only Canadians will get to see it. Ditto the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team, the F-22 Raptor demo team and C-17 demo team. The London (Ontario) Airshow is going ahead Sept. 12-13 as a drive-in event with room for 2500 vehicles. The RCAF will also be sending aircraft to the show but the Snowbirds won’t be there. They’re on a stand down after a fatal accident in May. It’s being billed as “Canada’s first socially responsible and physically distant airshow.” Although the border is closed between Canada and the U.S., it appears some arrangement has been made to allow the U.S. crews to land and stay in London.

“We know how much the airshow is enjoyed by the community, so while the impact of COVID-19 prevents us from producing our traditional-style event, we wanted to create a solution that minimizes risk and interaction while still offering an exciting and family-friendly event,” said Airshow London chair Jim Graham. “We’ll have three-and-a-half hours of solid flying, of solid jet noise.” Each ticket gets a 22-foot-by-25-foot spot in the regular parking areas for $75-$115 CAD with up to six people. There is also an RV area with a limit of 10 occupants for $175 CAD. There will be no concessions or souvenir stands and patrons can bring their own food and non-alcoholic refreshments. Portable toilets will be provided.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. “Canada’s first socially responsible and physically distant airshow.”

    Really? 2500 cars x 6 people average = 15,000 people…give or take the bikers, motorhomes, and travel trailers. Somehow, being confined to a 22 x 25 foot out door space inhabited by 6-10 people and their vehicles’ dimensional footprint times 2500 is not a crowd of folks in close proximity of each other?

    Plus the bonus of providing port-o-potties. I guess being by yourself in a plastic box breathing in more than water vapor fumes from one’s breath or someone else’s is a form of quarantine and isolation while in there. I wonder if they are providing 2500 port-o-potties to maintain social distancing while sitting or standing in one’s polyethylene Petrie dish. I’ll bet masking will not be problem when nature calls. At least those four walls and ceiling is providing the prerequisite plastic barrier from the next squatter while breathing the concentrated waste of all who preceded you in temporary but complete isolation. Avoid touching your face as you find your way back to the blue zone with all of the other isolationists.

    15,000 protesters in square mile is a Covid-19 spreading crowd, albeit unruly. Stadium events, NASCAR racing, and almost all professional sports are played sans spectators. Yet, 15,000+ attending an airshow in the same square mile is now family friendly, socially responsible fun.

    I wonder if there is a litigation release clause with each vehicular ticket sold.