For the coming airshows I bought the Nikon 200-500 mm f/5.6E ED VR telephoto zoom lens in November 2019. I was very curious to try it during the 2020 air show season. But things turned out to be completely different from what I expected or desired. I prepared myself a very nice and long list of air shows to attend this year, but then things started to go completely wrong. A new “player” appeared on the world stage: corona virus! The virus first appeared in China and then it spread all over the world more quickly than anyone expected.
By March 2020 Europe was hit by what is now known as the Sars-Cov 2 virus pandemic. One of the most affected sectors of activity is aviation, due to measures taken all over the world in order to limit the spread of the new virus. Most of passenger flights have been cancelled; no more aviation events are permitted and the activity in all aviation areas is very limited compared to what it used to be.
Among the first events to be cancelled were the air shows announced for 2020. At least in Europe about 90% of them are now cancelled or postponed for September, October or 2021. These are events where thousands of people are present at the same time and same place. So it’s no wonder that everything has been cancelled.
Since I am still hoping to see some aviation in action this year I took a look around the web to see if there is any event or air show in Europe that I and other aviation enthusiasts could attend. So in the following lines I will tell you about my findings.
Between May and August 2020 most events are cancelled or postponed. There are a few events, in July and August, happening in France, Austria, Poland, United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany. But these are small local events with less people attending compared to the big, famous air shows. By the end of August things seem to “come back to life”. The first big event will take place in Slovakia on August 29th and 30th. I am talking about Slovak International Air Fest – SIAF. Another air show that I think is getting better and better and that I never missed since 2016 is Szeged Aviation Days and Air Parade. This year it will be held on 11, 12 and 13th of September. Also in September we have NATO Days in Ostrava that will take place between the 19th and 20th. Malta Air Show seems to be taking place on September 26-27th and this would be a really great air show to attend. There are some other smaller events happening in September in Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, Germany and the U.K. One that I think is most interesting is the Meeting Aeriene Des Etoiles Et Des Ailes 2020, where there are announced lots of flying vintage stuff to see and photograph. October follows with two big events: Istanbul Air Show and Axalp Swiss Air Force Live Fire Demo. The year ends with Eurasia Airshow – Turkey that starts on December 2nd and ends on December 6th.
As far as Romania is concerned, there is not much happening. By this time of the year we would have had some Open Days at different Air Bases of the Romanian Air Force. But due to the situation this did not happen. The Romanian Air Club did have many events planned as in 2020 they celebrate 100 years of existence. Nothing happened so far but I still hope to see some action on their airfields this year. Bucharest International Airshow – BIAS was planned for September 5th. I don’t know if it will take place or not. Mr. George Rotaru, the President of the Romanian Air Club and member of the BIAS organizing committee, said that they are ready to make the air show happen if the situation allows it. But I do not think that the authorities will permit an event that has been attended by thousands of people in the past. So, I am pretty sure that there is not going to be a Bucharest International Airshow this year. The only event announced these days by the organizers is Drobeta Fly In. It will be held on a small airfield situated near Drobeta Turnu Severin on June 27th, unless the Romanian authorities forbid it.
You have to take into consideration that all this information is subject to change. Even if the events that I mentioned are not cancelled or postponed at the present day, they might be in the future. So it’s safer to check them before making plans, or even ask the organizers directly if the event is on or not. You can see a complete list of aviation events and air shows in Europe and the rest of the world at milavia.net. But most important of all we must stay safe and also take care of the people around us!