March is knocking at our doors now, and it means the 2023 aviation season in Europe is right around the corner. Therefore, similarly to the previous years, we bring you the first batch of air show-focused news and updates.
It seems that finally, after a few difficult years full of postponing and cancelations caused by coronavirus outbreak and political developments, the 2023 season has every chance to be the first regular season since 2019. Now, finally, majority of annual (and biennial) aviation events returned to the air show calendar, including the open doors days at military airfields. Regrettably, three lean years left a lasting mark on the aviation activities and resulted in permanent cancellation of a few events, and – what´s even worse – disbanding a few aerobatic teams.
As always, our short review of aviation events will be purely subjective. There are more than one hundred shows already announced for 2023 in Europe and it would be impossible to write about each of them in details. Therefore, we would like to mention just a few, primarily those we know and attended in previous years, as well as consider worth visiting.
First of all, we would like to mention the upcoming 100th anniversary of Aeronautica Militare (the Italian Air Force). The aviation branch of the Italian armed forces was officially established on 23rd March 1923. Therefore, the Italian Air Force will celebrate its centennial with a series of open doors events and air shows.
The open doors events will be held on 28th March and hosted by following air wings: 15° Stormo at Pisignano di Cervia, 4° Stormo at Grosetto, 51° Stormo at Istrana, 37° Stormo at Trapani and 6° Stormo at Ghedi. The official centennial air show will be organized on 17th and 18th June at Aeroporto Militare Pratica di Mare (Rome region).
Opening of the air show season in the Central Europe usually starts with Den ve vzduchu s Plzeňským krajem (Day in the air with Plzeň Region), organized annually at Plasy airfield in the Czech Republic. This year´s edition of the show is scheduled for 29th and 30th April. That series of aviation events is usually focused on historical aircraft, or their replicas, as well as aerobatics and sports aviation, with some additional displays performed by Czech Air Force aircraft (click here for our report from the 2022 edition).
Another two interesting Czech aviation events will be held in May. The first of them, open doors event at Čáslav air base, is planned to take place on 20th May. Once again, the base doors will open for general public, after a long gap caused by coronavirus restrictions. In pre-corona era, the public event in Čáslav was usually organized every two years and we are really glad to see it is returning to the air show calendar.
On 27th and 28th May, the 31st edition of Aviatická Pouť (Aviation Fair) will take place at Pardubice airfield. That event has one of the longest traditions among modern Czech air shows and usually attracts tens of thousands of visitors. Organized annually, the Aviation Fair usually brings a fabulous journey into history of aviation by providing displays of various types of aircraft – from the pioneering years to the modern jets (click here for our reports from the 2019 and 2022 editions of the show).
Among the other interesting shows planned for May of 2023, we would like to mention Festival letectva Pieštany, Slovakia (20th – 21st May), the 100th anniversary of Antwerp Airport, Belgium (20th – 21st May) and EBACE 2023 trade show in Geneva, Switzerland (23rd – 25th May).
For those who like unforgettable and relaxed atmosphere of a small, aeroclub-held air shows, we would like to recommend the traditional open doors event at Jaroměř airfield. This show also returns to the aviation events calendar after three-year-long gap caused by coronavirus restrictions. Its programme, as usual, will include some aerobatic displays, RC model show, gliders and sport aeroplanes – merged with the traditional children’s day event (click here for our report from the 2019 edition).
It seems that, after three consecutive cancellations, the annual Bundeswehr open doors event is also returning this year. Tag der Bundeswehr 2023 is scheduled for 17th June and includes ten locations throughout the country. Regrettably, it looks like only two of them are aviation-related and will be held at Internationales Hubschrauberausbildungszentrum (helicopter training centre) in Bückeburg and Technisches Ausbildungszentrum der Luftwaffe Süd (southern technical training centre) in Kaufberuen. For now, there are no details about any additional spotter day and there is little chance such event will be held this year (click here for our report from the 2019 edition of the event in Nordholz air base).
Salon International de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace du Bourget, commonly called the Paris Air Show is closing our list of events. This year´s edition of the show is planned for 19th – 25th June.
Our second part of the air show news, with even more information about aviation events scheduled for the rest of this year, will continue soon.