The Wings Over Springbank Airshow returns July 27 and 28, with the thunderous roar of jets and aerial stunts. The event will also honour its venue, the Springbank Airport, in celebrating 50 years of service to the area – the airshow moved to the venue in 2015.
“The setup [at Springbank Airport] is a little bit easier, so we can bring in bigger aircraft,” said Sarah van Gilst, producer of the airshow. “It opens the door up to us a little bit more as to what kind of static aircraft we can bring in, as well as what kind of performers we have. We’re also able to provide the hangar space that they require.”
Past events were hosted in Airdrie, van Gilst said, where three successful airshows occurred in 2009, 2011 and 2013. In 2015, however, she said the event was forced to relocate to Springbank due to the expansion of the Calgary International Airport.
This year, she said, the event is looking forward to celebrating Springbank Airport’s 50th anniversary. The facility has served the surrounding community well, according to van Gilst.
“It’s kind of a joint effort with the Calgary Airport Authority and us to celebrate that milestone for the airport,” she said. “A lot of people don’t realize that Springbank [Airport] is among the 10 busiest airports in Canada, in terms of aircraft movement.”
She said the venue offers a variety of services to local pilots, tourists, and aviation enthusiasts, including a number of maintenance facilities, aircraft sales, a helicopter training school, tourist flights and more. She added Mount Royal University’s aviation program operates out of the airport, as well.
To mark the occasion, van Gilst said, a number of performers will attend the airshow – including the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, the military aerobatics arm of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Guests can also expect to see a F18 demo team, a surface-rated aerobatic demonstration, a flying vintage aircraft collection and a duel performance from Team Rocket.
“We always try and provide a good balance – the historic warbirds, vintage aircraft, some high-precision flying and stuff that you can have some fun with,” van Gilst said. “It’s really exciting.”
Gates open at 10 a.m. both days, and van Gilst encourages attendees to arrive early, as parking can be hectic. While the flying won’t begin until around 1 p.m., she noted, visitors can enjoy a variety of other activities.
The airshow’s ground activities will include around 15 food trucks, a fun zone with bouncy castles for kids, a beer garden and a static display of aircraft and vehicles, according to van Gilst. The display will feature more than 40 aircraft to explore, she added.
“You’ll actually be able to get up close – some of them you’ll be able to sit in, some of them to peek in,” she said.
“It gives you a real-life interaction with airplanes that you may never have been able to have before. How often do you actually get to sit in the cockpit?”
Tickets are $30 for adults, $20 for kids aged four to 17 and seniors aged 60 and up, and free for children aged 3 and under, and can be purchased online or at the gate.
Visit wingsoverspringbank.com for more information on tickets, parking and a complete list of performers.