Kids will be able to pass through the gates of Airshow London for free when the aviation spectacle takes to the skies this September.
Airshow officials announced on Wednesday that there will be no cost for children 12 and under to attend this year’s performance at the London International Airport.
“It’s really important to us to get families out to the show,” said Airshow Executive Director Dave De Kelver. “If cost was stopping families from attending then I am hopeful we have taken that roadblock out of the way.”
By offering the free children’s admission, the airshow hopes to not only get more young people through the gate but also interested in a future career as a pilot, aeronautical engineer, or aircraft mechanic.
“The first year we did the show, we had about 50 local people who were working for the Royal Canadian Air Force who were working in the planes and they said to us ‘we got our desire to get into a plane based on coming to an airshow when we were kids,’” said De Kelver. “The younger you are when you’re exposed to it the more you might grow a passion for aviation.”
De Kelver said he isn’t worried about taking a financial hit by allowing kids to attend for free as other airshows throughout North America that have taken similar steps have all been successful.
The Canadian Forces Snowbirds, the CF-18 Demonstration Team, led by Captain Stefan Porteous, the F-16 Viper Demonstration Team, the B-17 Memphis Belle, and local Red Bull Air Race pilot Pete McLeod are among the featured performers slated to fly in London. Airshow officials note many more performers and feature aircraft will be announced in the coming weeks.
“I expect we will have another 50 or 60 jets of all kinds of sizes at the show again this year,” said De Kelver.
Last year’s airshow drew 35,000 people over its three-day run, a steady increase from the 20,000 people who passed through the airshow gates in 2016.
Tickets for the show, which runs September 7 to 9, are now on sale. They can be purchased online at www.airshowlondon.com.
Airshow London is a not-for-profit organization that raises money for the Children’s Hospital Foundation, veteran’s charities, and scholarships and bursaries at Fanshawe College’s Norton Wolf School of Aviation Technology.