More than 25,000 spectators expected for Comox Valley Air Show

After an eight-year hiatus, the Comox Air Show is returning Aug. 17.

COL. JIM BENNINGER confirmed Monday at a news conference that the Comox Air Show will return in August after an eight-year absence.

After an eight-year hiatus, the Comox Air Show is returning Aug. 17.

The 2013 Comox Air Show celebrates 70 years of Canadian Air Force history in the Comox Valley and will feature current and former Canadian military aircraft, in addition to several civilian performers.

Officially known as the Comox Armed Forces Day and Air Show, the event will be 2013’s largest single attraction in the Comox Valley. The most recent air show in Comox was 2005, when over 25,000 people attended.

Given the pent-up demand for an air show, organizers expect an even larger attendance this year.

“This air show is our way of giving back to the people of the Comox Valley for all the support they provide to our members and our military families throughout the year,” said 19 Wing commander Col. Jim Benninger. “While this will be a fantastic show, we hope to educate people about what their Armed Forces do on a daily basis as well.”

This year’s lineup will be headlined by the CF-18 Demonstration Team and the Canadian Armed Forces Snowbirds Air Demonstration Squadron. Additional performers and aircraft will be posted routinely on the Comox Air Show web and Facebook pages.

“In 1943, the Royal Air Force (U.K.) transferred control of a one-year-old air base in Comox to the nascent Royal Canadian Air Force,” said Maj. Dwayne Kerr, air show director. “To celebrate the 70 years of Canadian military operations at Comox, there will be a wide range of historic aircraft from Vintage Wings of Canada, Cascade Warbirds, the Heritage Flight Museum from Washington State, and vintage aircraft from across British Columbia.”

Other civilian air performers include: Super Dave Matheson and his MX-2, Team Rocket with their Harmon Rocket II’s, Pete McCleod and the Red Bull Edge 450, Manfred Radius with his high-performance glider, the Granleys with their Yaks, the Harvards of Yellow Thunder and many more.

In addition to air demonstrations, there will also be displays from the Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Navy that will feature a variety of equipment and vehicles and give people an opportunity to interact with members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Gates will open at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. Visitors are highly encouraged to use public transit, cycling and carpooling to get to the air show.

Although an improved parking plan featuring multiple exit routes is being introduced this year, organizers are encouraging all visitors to arrive early in the day to avoid congestion.

Most visitors who chose to arrive by car will be directed into the primary parking area through gates off Knight Road and Military Row, south of CFB Comox.

Visitors arriving from the north of Comox will take Coleman Road, and be directed to parking off Kilmorley Road, to the north of the airfield. The front gate of CFB Comox will be closed to visitor traffic throughout the day.

Specific handicap parking and a bike lockup area will be easily accessible near the museum’s Heritage Air Park on Military Row.  There will be several activities and performances after the flying displays conclude to entertain visitors and to encourage them to wait for traffic congestion to subside.

Tickets will go on sale shortly, including the opportunity to purchase box seating to get up close to the frontline action. As this is a Department of National Defence facility, enhanced security measures will be in place and random checks of vehicles and bags should be expected.

On the day of the air show, commercial and passenger flights at the Comox Valley Airport will continue. To account for potential traffic delays, passengers travelling on Aug. 17 should allow themselves at least an additional 30 minutes driving time to arrive at the airport in time for their flight.

The majority of funding for this event comes from sponsors in the community. If you would like to become a sponsor for a specific aircraft or the Air Show as a whole, contact Lewis and Sears Marketing at 1-866-594-3243, or e-mail

— 19 Wing Comox


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