If you like the idea of being impressed and living a thrilling experience, then it’s time to add the Aero Gatineau-Ottawa Air Show to your yearly calendar. Suitable for the entire family, this is an event that will leave a lasting impression.
This unique show takes place every September and highlights the latest aircraft technologies, flight simulations as well aviation gifts and souvenirs. The very best part, in my opinion, is that it showcases an impressive air show with both historical and modern aircrafts.
Week #121 Challenge: Attend the Aero Gatineau-Ottawa Air Show!
Thank you to Brenda for giving me the opportunity to visit the event, as part of my blog!
I know very little about the world of aviation but my father would take me to these shows as a young child. It’s been a lifetime since my last visit and I was curious to experience this as an adult.
Here are all the things worth knowing before you attend:
You can purchase your day or weekend pass online, it’s ideal considering tickets are now limited! It’s always more affordable to buy a weekend pass; which means, if you have the flexibility to attend multiple days then that will be the best bang for your buck.
Want a more executive experience? I was able to visit the Flightline Club section to capture pictures, I got very lucky. The advantage of this VIP club being you get a private seating area with a tent, have access to catered food and beverages (including alcohol), private washrooms, premium parking and have zero view obstruction.
What to bring?
- Comfortable clothes, layers in case it gets cold
- Water bottles, they are a little expensive on site
- Cash for food, souvenirs and fundraisers
- Folding chairs or a blanket to sit
- Stroller and noise canceling headphones for children
- Umbrella (ideally, bring a clear one so you see the sky)
Parking at the Gatineau-Ottawa Executive Airport for this event is free! Cops and volunteers are in place to direct cars to the designated parking areas. Shuttles will pick you up and bring you to the show grounds.
FYI: most parking is in a field, the ride can be very bumpy and you will likely get your shoes dirty! Don’t wear heels like me 😂
Once you get through the front gate, there is lots to see! I don’t want to take away the magic of the experience by saying too much but you can:
✈️ Get up close and climb into various plane models
✈️ Try flight simulators
✈️ Learn about the history and new aviation technologies
✈️ Meet, take pictures and get autographs from pilots
✈️ Buy collectibles, apparel and toys
✈️ Donate to related causes
✈️ Get FREE gear and kids activities
If you aren’t part of the Flightline Club, you need to purchase your own food or drinks on site. They had plenty of food trucks and catering stations to choose from (pizza, hamburgers, fries, bubble tea and sweet treats). The price was really reasonable too!
For drinks, I suggest you bring your own water bottle. It will keep you hydrated and will avoid buying disposable water bottles. At $3 or so a bottle, it’s also better on your wallet. Instead, you can use that money towards souvenirs or fundraisers taking place at the event.
To make the best of the day, I recommend making this a full day visit. This way, you will be able to watch all the planes take flight.
You may be asking yourself, why not just watch the planes fly from off-site? Sure you can catch a glimpse further away but being at the show isn’t even comparable. The reason being you:
🛫 Learn the history, capabilities and specifications of the aircrafts
🛫 Have the closest and most detailed view of the flight manoeuvres
🛫 You are informed at all times of the flights whereabouts
🛫 Feel the vibrant energy the crowd and music brings out
You can’t experience this feeling unless you find yourself on the Aero Gatineau-Ottawa Show site. It’s really the place to be and I really mean that.
What really made this event special, aside from the stunning air show, were the people I encountered. During the few hours I spent on site, I met:
- an incredible female pilot who drove from Montreal to expose her toddler to his first aircrafts.
- two kind gentlemen, one of which explained that the plane named in honour of his fallen grandfather was being flown.
- a talented pilot, who generously accepted to take a picture with me.
- multiple charming volunteers who made my experience exceptional.
Aero Gatineau-Ottawa was a truly spectacular event and I am willing to bet that next year will be even better. I know for a fact I am going, will you?