What are the 2023 dates?
31st August 2023 – 3rd September 2023
What time does flying start on each day? (approx daily times)
Varies daily, flying starts early afternoon. Full flying program is available in the brochure. You can pre-order a copy online and obtain your unique code and access the free app your code will be on your e-receipt from the purchase of the brochure.
Are the Red Arrows and Typhoon returning this year?
Yes, both will be returning for this year’s festival.
What is new about the festival in 2023?
Plans for 2023 are currently being finalised.
Where’s the best place to view the flying?
The festival site is 1.5 miles long between Bournemouth and Boscombe piers – there’s a whole beach to choose from as well as the East Overcliff!
Where is the central flight line?
The flight line, or datum, is directly over the top of the Hospitality marquee in Zone1.
Where are the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Marines and RAF Village areas?
The RAF Village is on the East Overcliff. The Royal Navy village, with the Army and Royal Marines, is on the beach in Zone2. There will be vehicles, have-a-go equipment and personnel to speak to.
Where can I get information about the flying programme?
You can buy a copy of the Air Festival brochure, available from outlets – a list of stockists are available online – or you can purchase from brochure sellers on the day. You will also be able download the Air Festival app with push notifications for flying display updates! You can also get your copy from the Tourist Information Centre (TIC) at Pier Approach
Will there be a brochure?
Yes, you can pre-order the brochure now– the brochure is normally available to physically purchase from early August.
Can I buy the brochure online?
Yes you can pre-order the brochure now and obtain your unique code and access the website and free app (from mid-August), your code will be on your e-receipt from the purchase of the brochure.
If I order my programme online for collection on the day at the TIC – do I get the code by email from See Tickets or with the programme on the day?
If you have ordered the brochure on-line you will get a code from SEE Tickets and if you purchase in person there is a code in the programme.
Is my brochure code unlimited to access the flying schedule?
You can use the code up to five times a day prior to the event then up to eight times a day during the event itself.
I am out at sea watching the festival from my boat, how can I buy a programme to access the flying app?
You can pre-order the brochure now and obtain your unique code and access the free app (from mid-August), your code will be on your e-receipt from the purchase of the brochure.
Is there a cash point located on the festival site?
There is a cash point at Pier Approach by the main entrance to the Pier Amusements. There is also a cash point located at the front entrance to the BIC.
How much does it cost to attend?
The festival is free to attend.
Where can I find out more about the festival?
Online: bournemouthair.co.uk Twitter: @BmthAirFest
Facebook: /Bournemouthairfestival Instagram: @bmthairfest
Or visit the Tourist Information Centre at Pier Approach
You can contact the organiser via these channels as well
Does the land train run?
No, unfortunately it doesn’t – the seafront is too busy for it to operate.
Do the cliff lifts still operate?
The Westcliff and Fisherman’s Walk lifts are both operating.
Is there hospitality this year and are tickets still available?
Yes you can buy hospitality tickets Hospitality – Bournemouth Air Festival .
Are there tickets still available for the Sand Bar?
Yes you can buy Sandbar tickets Hospitality – Bournemouth Air Festival
Where is the Sand Bar located?
You’ll find the Sand Bar at lamppost 13, near to the hospitality marquee, under the central flight line. You can walk to it via the Toft Zig Zag.
Can I bring my dog /guide dogs to the Air Festival?
Yes – as long as they are on a lead you can bring guide dogs to the beach. Do remember jets can be very loud. Dogs are only allowed on the promenade on a lead and not the beach. See the Dog Friendly Zones for more information.
Are the air displays suitable for young children?
The Air Festival is a great family event, but for some younger children the noisy jets can be rather loud. If you are worried, it’s an idea to bring ear defenders!
Can I buy ear defenders on site?
Yes you can buy ear defenders on site.
Is there a lost and found procedure for children?
Yes – You can pick up an Allianz Kidszone wristband from specially trained Allianz KidZone volunteers, BCP Seafront Staff or RNLI Lifeguard Towers on the beach. Should you have a missing or found child, please report immediately to a member of the Allianz KidZone/Seafront team or RNLI Lifeguard who will be on hand to help. Find out more about Allianz Kidzone here: Allianz KidZone Bournemouth – Bournemouth
Stay safe. Take pictures of what your children are wearing on that day, have a meeting point in mind and report any missing children to the police immediately.
Can I fly my drone at the Air Festival?
No. Drones are banned at the event. Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are prohibited and not to be flown at the event site, please do not bring any UAS or UAV’s to the festival. It is against the law for any of these craft to be flown within the Restricted Airspace that is established at the Air Festival to protect participating aircraft and display teams. Organisers are under strict rules to cancel the flying display programme if drones are flying in the dedicated approved air space. Please be aware drone operators will be prosecuted.
Will there be a Pilot Meet & Greet this year?
No – but you may well be able to catch up with some of the teams in the Armed Forces Villages .
If it is a hot summer, is there a risk of fire?
Please do NOT bring a BBQ to the beach – please bring a picnic or support the onsite food and drink traders.
Open fires, fire pits and fire bowls are not permitted at any time on our beaches, promenades, cliffs or cliff tops, which provide a home to many of the UK’s rare species of reptiles, birds and insects. Their dry nature means they are vulnerable and sparks from open fires can cause horrific damage. Please do not drop cigarette butts. The chemicals leach into land and waterways, plus they can be a danger to wildlife.
How can I keep myself and others well in the sun?
Bring a refillable thermos cup or water bottle and get free drinking water at our water refill stations! Just download the Refill app to find where our hydration stations are located.
Take care in and out of the sun. Seek shade where you can, apply sunscreen, wear a hat and light, loose cotton clothes, drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol. If you or others feel unwell, get dizzy, feel weak, anxious or have intense thirst, move to a cool place, rehydrate and cool your body down.
If you feel like a dip to cool off, remember this!
If you get into trouble in the water, float to live: lean back, using your arms and legs to stay afloat. Control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety. In a coastal emergency, call 999 or 112 for the Coastguard.
People visiting beaches across BCP are encouraged to follow the RNLI’s beach safety advice if entering the water:
- Choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags
- Check the weather and tide times before you go
- If you get into trouble in the water, Float to Live: tilt your head back with ears submerged and try to relax and control your breathing. Use your hands to help you stay afloat and then call for help or swim to safety if you can
- If you see anyone in trouble in the water, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard
- if you are heading out into the water, tell a friend or relative you are going.
Getting here and getting around
How do I get to the festival site from the town centre?
You can get to the site through the Lower Gardens which leads straight to the seafront (and turn left!)
How do I get to the festival site from the train and coach station – can I walk, how far is it?
You can walk from the train and coach station; it takes about 30mins and is clearly signposted. Alternatively, buses run every five mins to the town centre from Stand 5. You can Tap On and Off with a contactless credit card to pay on most buses.
Where’s the best place to park?
There are several car parks in the town centre which can be found online on the Find a Car Park page.
I will be attending in a large work van 2.4m high it states King’s Park is the car park. I can’t find any information regarding a height barrier – can you help?
Parking charges apply – there are parking areas on the grass at Kings Park where there are no height barriers.
How much does the Park and Ride cost?
£15 for a return ticket
Can I use the park and ride bus even if I don’t park?
Yes as long as you pay.
Where is the Park and Ride location?
Kings Park – BH7 7AF
What are the ‘Park & Ride’ opening hours?
Thursday 9.00am – last bus at 11pm
Friday 9am – last bus at 11pm
Saturday 9am – last bus at 11pm
Sunday 9am – last bus at 7pm
Where does the Park & Ride drop off?
Manor Road – BH1 3EZ
Are dogs allowed on the park and ride buses?
Yes, dogs are allowed on the buses, this is not just restricted to Assistance dogs – well behaved dogs in general are fine.
Where are the drop off zones for private hire taxis?
Outside BIC, Westover Road, Manor Road Park and Ride and taxis can also drop off at the bottom of Sea Road by Boscombe Pier.
Will the flyover be closed again as last year?
Yes it will be closed during the daily flying displays.
Will buses be running as normal across Christchurch, Poole and Bournemouth?
Yes – check MoreBus websites or Facebook for up-to-date information and travel times.
Is there disabled parking and viewing?
Yes, but it is limited – disabled parking drop-off point is at the bottom of Sea Road at Boscombe Pier. Accessible car-parks are at Sea Road (BH5 1BN) and the Winter Gardens (BH2 5AQ with 250 spaces). There is accessible viewing available at Monkey Island, at the end of East Overcliff Drive (80 car parking spots). In addition, entering the event site from Boscombe, there is an accessible viewing area on the promenade outside the Surf Steps School (BH5 1BN).
To find a car park with disabled parking provision, please visit the Find a car park (bcpcouncil.gov.uk) page, or for more information on using your blue badge, please visit Use your Blue Badge (bcpcouncil.gov.uk)
Are there accessible toilets at Monkey Island?
Yes, there are accessible toilet facilities.
I am disabled. Some of the roads that are closed lead to disabled parking. Will we be able to get through/ navigate these road closures with simply having a blue badge?
Yes – showing a Blue Badge will allow people through the road closure to the accessible viewing at Monkey Island and the disabled parking at the Overstrand car park at Boscombe, there is also parking for Blue Badge holders only at the Winter Gardens car park.
Are mobility scooters available to rent at the event?
No, BCP Council cannot provide mobility scooters to rent at the event, but these are available for rent via independent retailers such as:
- Castlepoint Shopmobility Mobility Equipment – For Residents and Visitors (sedcat.org.uk)
- Mobility Hire – South Coast Mobility
Are there any road closures I need to be aware of?
The East Overcliff is closed to public access and if you are a resident, you will be aware of the closures in place. Please see the full Traffic Restrictions Plan Map for relevant information. You can also see a live view of all the road closures and restrictions across Bournemouth using this interactive map.
Can I bring my own food and drink?
Yes, you can but please use the bins provided for rubbish and leave only footprints! There will be plenty of food and drink available on site between the Piers and along the East Overcliff.
We will be sitting on the beach, are we allowed to bring a single-ring gas picnic stove to use?
No, this is strictly not allowed.
Are there any electric BBQs I can use?
The electric BBQs installed at Pier Approach will not be available for use during the festival.
What time are the bars open?
Bars are open until 10pm
Can I still go into the sea?
Yes, but there is limited bathing. Swimming is not permitted in the exclusion zone between Bournemouth and Boscombe Piers, so we recommend you swim to the west of Bournemouth Pier or to the east of Boscombe Pier.
Can I fish from the Pier?
No, not during the Air Festival.
Can I cycle?
You can cycle to the event and use the cycle parking located throughout the area.
Can I ride my e-scooter?
Private e-scooters are not permitted, but rental e-scooters and bikes are available from any of the marked “Beryl Bays” – just download the Beryl App to register, unlock and enjoy your ride in.
It gets busy at the festival site, so to keep everyone safe there will be a temporary traffic order restricting cyclists and e-scooters from riding within the festival areas between 10am – 11pm. Please walk with your bike through the event areas.
These include Undercliff Drive, East Overcliff, Pier Approach and between Bournemouth and Boscombe Pier. Beryl will instate a 3mph geofence on all e-scooters within this zone and provide temporary parking areas close by. Please see the Beryl App for details.
Festival – Land, Air and Sea
When does the festival/flying start and finish each day?
The festival site opens daily at 10am. Flying starts early afternoon each day (although varies each day specifically) – but roughly speaking, around 1pm. Thursday ends around 9pm , Friday and Saturday ends with fireworks just after 10pm. Sunday the flying finishes at around 5.30pm.
Are the Red Arrows coming?
They will be returning and flying every day of the air festival.
What time are Red Arrows displaying?
The Red Arrows will be flying on Thursday at 5.30pm, on Friday and Saturday at 5pm, and on Sunday at 2.45pm.
What else is flying/ can I expect to see?
There is so much to see and do during the four days of the Air Festival – keep and eye out for the latest updates on our media hub here: Media Hub – Bournemouth Air Festival
Will there be Royal Navy ships in the bay and anchorage tours?
there will be two P2000 in the Bay
Will there be an official livesteam or Air Fest TV this year?
Yes there is an official FREE live stream of the event at Live Stream – Bournemouth Air Festival
Hot Radio is however broadcasting LIVE on the radio during the event at hot.radio, on DAB & 102.8FM.
Will there be a pilot meet and greet session?
No – but there may well be the opportunity to meet some of pilots and teams in the Forces villages
What time does the Night Air Programme start?
To be confirmed.
Are there fireworks and what time are they?
Yes there will be Fireworks from Bournemouth Pier on Friday and Saturday evenings at 10pm
Where’s the best place to see the fireworks?
It’s probably best to locate yourself either on the beach or cliff tops for a higher view.
Are the Royal Navy performing in the evenings?
Yes, the Royal Navy will be performing Beat Retreat and Unarmed Combat in the Lower Gardens each evening of the event (Thursday – Saturday)
Will there be night air concerts?
No there will not be any night air concerts this year.
Lower Gardens/ Town Square
Is there anything happening in the Bandstand?
Yes there will be a program of music in the bandstand outside of flying times.
Will there be entertainment in the Lower Gardens?
To be confirmed.
Will there be any music and entertainment as in previous years?
To be confirmed.
How can I keep up to date?
- Follow the team on social media for news and updates, as it happens – Facebook, Instagram
- Buy the brochure and download the Air Festival app from the app stores
- Be prepared and ‘Know before you go’ visit
- Follow the official Air Festival social channels,
How loud and busy is the Air Festival?
With hundreds of thousands of people attending and displays including hi-speed military aircraft etc then we advise people who may be affected by this outdoor environment, but still want to attend and enjoy the festival to seek quieter areas of the beach
Entertainment, stalls and displays on the ground will be quieter in the morning, from 10am.
Visitors are also welcome to watch the displays via social media or live stream. For more see bournemouthair.co.uk and social media #bmthairfest at @bmthairfest or @BmthAirFest
Who is exhibiting in the Ultra Energy STEM Village in 2023?
- AECC University College
- Arts University Bournemouth
- Bournemouth University
- Centre VR
- IMI Thompson Valves
- KW Engineering (Poole) Ltd
- Laser Profiles Ltd.
- Superior Seals
- Ultra Energy
- Yunex Traffic
What is the environmental impact of the festival?
In 2019 the Council undertook both Environmental and Economic assessments of Bournemouth Air Festival.
The environmental impact assessment calculated the total carbon footprint of the festival to be 7190 tonnes CO2e. The display aircraft fuel accounted for only 240tonnes – just over 3% of the total calculated on usage of 95211 litres of fuel.
The main challenge that we face is a modal shift in travel to and from the destination whether for the Air Festival or the millions of visitors that travel to the area throughout the year, as well as the thousands of residents travelling around the area to visit beaches and local attractions.
Alongside the BCP Sustainable Events Management Policy there is an ongoing Air Festival Sustainability Action Plan which includes objectives to not only reduce the carbon footprint of travel but also reduce use of man-made energy, plastics, waste to landfill and the carbon footprint of trade and catering provision.
Where can I find out more information?
bournemouthair.co.uk and social media #bmthairfest @bmthairfest @BmthAirFest
Maritime and crowd safety
We will be watching the air displays from our boat – are there designated areas or restrictions?
Please see the Maritime Safety Zone Map for more information.
Do we have to book or pay to watch from the bay?
No, you don’t have to book or pay to view.
How are both crowd and event safety managed?
As with all major events, we have an extensive and robust event plan, covering all elements of operations. We work with stakeholders, Dorset Police and other emergency services to provide the best possible experience for people attending the Air Festival. The threat level is currently the same as last year, and as with all other national and major events, there will be high visibility patrols by uniformed officers in place. As always, we remind everybody to be vigilant and to report anything suspicious. You will notice enhanced security at the Air Festival again this year, with visible police, armed police and security staff as well as CCTV monitoring present.
What should I do if I see something suspicious?
If you see something suspicious find a Police officer, Ranger, Security officer or member of the Events Team, remember ‘See it, Say it, Sorted’.
Are there stewards on site if I need assistance?
Yes, stewards in hi-vis vests and Zone Managers in pink t-shirts are on site and ready to assist if/ when needed.
What are you doing to keep visitors safe?
The answer is lots. There are the security measures you can see and of course the ones you can’t. We monitor the whole site each and every day and our staff are trained to ensure all festival goers have a safe, secure and happy time. We work very closely with Dorset Police and teams of onsite security and stewards to ensure our security procedures are up to date and following best practice. If you’re lucky, you may even see a sniffer dog on duty at the Air Festival but please remember, these are busy working dogs with a very important job to do.
Will the boat exclusion zone for 2023 be much larger – is it too deep to anchor safely on the southern edge?
No the Marine Safety Zone will be the same as in 2022
Sustainable responsible visitors
What are you doing to protect the environment – do you have any sustainable measures in place?
We love where we live, that’s why we are committed to making the Bournemouth Air Festival as environmentally friendly as possible. You can help us keep our beautiful coastline and open spaces clean and tidy by leaving only footprints and taking your litter home with you. You can also help us drive down our carbon footprint by travelling sustainably to the festival. In fact, if just 1-in-3 people changed how they travelled to the festival over the four days we could save a massive 2,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year for the next three years!
I want to be more responsible and sustainable this year what can I do to make a difference?
- Travel by bike, bus or train. Read more about how to travel sustainably here.
- Bring a refillable thermos cup or water bottle and get free drinking water at our water refill stations! Just download the Refill app to find where our hydration stations are located
- Around 2,000 tonnes of waste is left on our beach each year. Help drive down that waste by ensuring you dispose of your rubbish responsibly where you can, and if a bin is full, please find another empty bin. Better still, take your rubbish home with you and recycle it as well! See more at Leave only Footprints.
- Help prevent fires by bringing a picnic and not a bbq, or support our traders onsite and buy some delicious treats from them!
- If you see something suspicious find a Policeman, Ranger, Security officer or member of the Events Team, remember ‘See it, Say it, Sorted’.
What value does the air festival add to the local economy?
The Air Festival brings in tens of millions of pounds to the local economy and attracts over half a million visitors from all over the UK. It also supports over 250 full time jobs so it’s a huge event in the calendar locally.
Tourism is vital to the economy, worth over £1billion and 17,000 jobs and the thousands of visitors attracted to the Air Festival not only support this economy but provide the opportunity for us to begin to influence how they think about travel, not only to the festival but in their everyday lives and on return visits to the destination and elsewhere
What additional value does the festival bring to the local community?
Now in its 14th year, Bournemouth Air Festival is the biggest date in the area’s calendar with lots of benefits to a range of audiences living locally. After a few challenging years due to the pandemic, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are eager to celebrate, and this year’s Coronation Bournemouth Air Festival is just the ticket.
The landmark festival provides free entertainment over four days against a beautiful backdrop of our award-winning beaches – so it’s the perfect entertainment for families who want a pocket-friendly weekend of fun.
It also represents a major opportunity for traders to get in front of consumers. In fact, our traders are a huge part of the festival, providing non-stop interest. We want to celebrate them and work with them to make Bournemouth Air Festival a roaring success in 2023. It has the largest single audience of any aviation event in Europe, presenting a wealth of trading and brand engagement opportunities.
We also hope to inspire the next generation with our Ultra Energy STEM Village. We want our young people living locally to have access to some of the region’s high-profile STEM companies and experts – opening up doors and opportunities they may not have otherwise had.
This festival is very much about our community – we want to give them something to celebrate and also something to be proud of.
How do you hope to inspire the next generation?
Aspiring engineers, apprentices or anyone excited about the way things work can gain hands-on experience with the latest technologies including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) at Bournemouth Air Festival in 2023.
Returning for its second year is the Ultra Energy STEM Village which is once again located near the RAF Village on the East Cliff. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) integrates the areas and challenges of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
At the Ultra Energy STEM Village you will find some of the region’s high-profile companies and experts specialising in various STEM sectors, ready to inspire the next generation!