Home Vancouver Monthly Calendar 2020 Festivals and Events in Vancouver Abbotsford International Airshow

Abbotsford International Airshow

Abbotsford Airshow Fighter Jet Static Display

Taking place on a weekend in August and featuring all kinds of vintage planes and military aircraft, the Abbotsford International Airshow is amazing.

2020 dates are August 7th to 9th.


This article contains information about the following topics:

About the Airshow | Show Details | Highlights | Schedule | Admission Prices | Tips & Advice | Other Information

Click on any of the above links to jump to specific information, or continue reading to learn all about the Abbotsford International Airshow.


Looking for a really fun time?

Then check out the Abbotsford Agrifair! It takes place July 31st to August 2nd in 2020 and is free for kids ages 10 and under. Click Abbotsford Agrifair for details.


The Abbotsford Airshow

In 2020 the Airshow takes place on the weekend of August 7-9 at the Abbotsford Airport (YXX) at 1595 Townline Road in Abbotsford.

The event has been taking place each summer for over 50 years and typically draws over 125,000 people, making it Western Canada’s largest airshow.

In 2020 performers include the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, Team Rocket, an F-22 Raptor demo and others.

Snowbird Planes at Abbotsford Airshow
Canadian Forces Snowbirds

About the Abbotsford Airshow

The three-day event draws aircraft and spectators from around the world. In most years highlights include appearances by Canada’s Snowbirds, Canadian Forces parachute teams, entries from the Canadian Museum of Flight and demonstrations by Canadian Forces CF-18 Hornets. Foreign air forces also participate.

The Abbotsford Airshow is definitely one of Metro Vancouver’s top annual events, especially for people who like airplanes. Even for those who aren’t airplane fanatics, the spectacle can be very entertaining.

In 2013 the event was listed as one of the world’s top 10 airshows by USA Today. Of the other nine, six were from the US, two from the UK and one in Germany.

Taking a Look at a Fighter Display

Airshow Details

Most years the Abbotsford International Airshow grounds are open from 3:30 until 10:30 pm on the Friday, and from 9:00 am until 5:30 pm on the Saturday and Sunday.

The main flying events take place between around 5:30 and 10:00 pm on the Friday of the second weekend in August, and from 11:00 am until 4:30 pm on the Saturday and Sunday.


For a video of airshow stunts from inside a 1958 Nanchang CJ-6A that often performs at the event, click Video with Geoff Latter Airshows.


Geoff Latter in Nanchang CJ-6A Stunt Plane
Geoff Latter in a Nanchang CJ-6A

Airshow Highlights and Performers

Below is information about what to expect at the Airshow in general. A major highlight of the event though is the Twilight Show on the Friday evening. That’s when the Canadian Forces Snowbirds usually do a show, and Canadian CF-18s and American Super Hornets or other equivalent jets do flyovers.

The Friday evening also finishes with fireworks which last for about 12 or so minutes. If you can make it to the Friday evening Twilight Show, do! They are impressive and include fireworks in both the sky and blasting off from the ground!

BC Day Long Weekend

Performers

Performers in 2020 include the following (details are subject to change):

  • The Canadian Forces Snowbirds – Canada’s famous flight demonstration squadron.
  • F-22 Raptor – a single-seat fighter aircraft designed for the US Air Force.
  • CF-18 Hornet – a Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft piloted by Captain Dan Deluce.
  • USAF Heritage Flight – a nonprofit organization that provides heritage flights to the general public. Exact planes that will be used are to be confirmed.
  • Yak 110 – a combination of two Yak-55 and a spare jet engine were used to create this innovative aircraft.
  • Team Rocket – a creative performance by aircrafts created by Team Rocket Inc.

Past Performers

Performers and demonstrators from past years included the following (recognizing that details are subject to change):

USAF C-5 Galaxy at Abbotsford Airshow
USAF C-5 Galaxy
  • USAF C-5 Galaxy – a giant American military transport plane built by Lougheed and maintained by Lougheed Martin.
  • T-33 “Acemaker” Shooting Star – a fighter plane of the style used in the Korean War.
  • Rob Holland – the New England-based American stunt pilot performed in his all carbon-fiber American-made plane.
  • Gary Rower – the American stunt pilot entertained in the sky with his 450-horsepower flight trainer plane.
  • Buck Roetman – the American stunt pilot flew a 250-horsepower Lycoming IO360 built by Penn Yan Aero.
  • USAF Heritage Flight – an American flying team whose planes included a P-47 Thunderbolt (used in WWII and throughout the 1950s) and an A-1 Skyraider (used in the Korean and Vietnam wars).
  • F8F Bearcat – an American WWII piston-engine fighter plane designed to defend against Japanese kamikaze attacks.
  • Grumman F6F Hellcat – an American aircraft carrier-based fighter designed to fight against Japanese Zeros in the Second World War.
  • TBM-3E Avenger “Ida Red” – an American torpedo bomber first introduced in the early 1940s, later modified and then retired in the 1960s.
  • A-10 Thunderbolt II Demo – an air support plane from the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in the United States.
A-10 Thunderbolt II Demo
A-10 Thunderbolt II

Airshow Schedule

Below is the schedule for the Abbotsford Airshow in 2020. (Note: times and details are subject to change.)

Friday, August 7th (2020) (Twilight Show)

  • 3:00 pm – Displays, exhibits and concessions are open
  • 5:30 pm – Opening Ceremonies
  • 6:00 pm – Canadian Forces Snowbirds
  • 7:30 pm – Static displays close
  • 8:30 pm – CF-18 Hornet Twilight Demo
  • 9:45 pm – Evening Fireworks
  • 10:30 pm – Gates close
Abbotsford Airshow Fireworks
Fireworks Night at the Abbotsford Airshow

Saturday, August 8th (2020)

  • 9:00 am – Displays, exhibits and concessions are open
  • 11:00 am – Opening ceremonies
  • 3:00 pm – CF-18 Hornet demo
  • 3:30 pm – Canadian Forces Snowbirds
  • 5:00 pm – Static displays close
  • 5:30 pm – Gates close

Sunday August 9th (2020)

  • 9:00 am – Displays, exhibits and concessions are open
  • 11:00 am – Opening ceremonies
  • 3:00 pm – CF-18 Hornet demo
  • 3:30 pm – Canadian Forces Snowbirds
  • 5:00 pm – Static displays close
  • 5:30 pm – Gates close
Fighter Jet Display at Abbotsford Airshow
A fighter jet in the static display

Airshow Admission Prices

Single-day admission for adults ranges from around $25 to $40 (plus GST and online fees) depending on when and how you purchase your tickets.

Tickets are cheapest when purchased online and prior to August. Members of the military are free (with valid ID), as are children under 6 years of age. Children ages 6 to 12 are about half the regular adult price, and multi-day passes are also available. Parking is $10 per vehicle for the day.

Below are the early bird, regular online, at-the-gate and multi-day admission rates for 2020. All prices are plus GST and online fees.

Early Bird Tickets

  • Adults (ages 13+) – $25 per day or $40 for the weekend
  • Children (ages 6 to 12) – $12.50 per day or $20 for the weekend
  • Family Passes (2 adults and 2 children ages 6 to 17) – $65 per day (including parking)
  • Children (under 5 years of age) – Free
  • Members of the Military – Free

Online Tickets (purchased after July 31st)

  • Adults (ages 13+) – $32 per day or $50 for the weekend
  • Children (ages 6 to 12) – $16 per day or $25 for the weekend
  • Family Passes (2 adults and 2 children ages 6 to 17) – $75 per day (including parking)
  • Children (under 5 years of age) – Free
  • Members of the Military – Free

Tickets at the Gate

  • Adults (ages 13+) – $40 per day or $60 for the weekend
  • Children (ages 6 to 12) – $20 per day or $30 for the weekend
  • Family Passes (2 adults and 2 children ages 6 to 17) – $90 per day (including parking)
  • Children (under 5 years of age) – Free
  • Members of the Military – Free
Abbotsford Airshow Grounds and Grandstand
General seating with the Grandstand in the distance

Premium Seating Options

In addition to the above costs for general admission, once inside the venue visitors have the option to pay extra for premium seating.

In previous years, for folk ages 19+, there was the option of sitting in the Grandstand area which also featured a special craft beer garden. VIP Grandstand admission cost around $75 and included reserved Grandstand seating, a couple of beers and VIP parking.

In 2020 there is Runway Seating (for $10-$20 extra), Family Club Seating (for between $20 and $30 extra) and Flight Club Seating (for between $65 and $80 extra). Prices for each of these sections is in addition to the regular cost of gate admission.

Runway Seating gets you a chair near the runaway. Family Club Seating includes patio seating and two non-alcoholic beverages. The Flight Club Zone is for folks ages 19+ and includes patio-style seating, a barbecue lunch and a couple of complimentary beverages.

Note: A couple of years ago the Craft Beer Garden in the Grandstand area featured only beers, so no ciders or other kinds of alcoholic beverages. 2020 beer garden areas may be similar (which can be disappointing for non-beer drinkers).

Canadian Snowbird Planes at Abbotsford
Snowbirds at the Abbotsford Airshow

Tips and Advice

Below are some tips to help you make the most out of your visit to the airshow.

TIP #1: It can get hot in August in Abbotsford on a sunny day. Be sure to bring plenty to drink, or plan to buy refreshments there.

TIP #2: Bring a lawn chair, blanket or something else to sit on, plus a hat to wear as there is little or no shade.

TIP #3: Admission for both active members of the military and veterans is free. If you qualify, make sure to take your ID as proof of service.

TIP #4: If attending the Friday night fireworks, try to get to your car at the end as soon as you can. Be prepared for lots of traffic and have patience!

TIP #5: If you can’t make the Abbotsford Airshow but absolutely love planes, then check out the Canadian Museum of Flight. Located in Hangar #3 at 5333 216th Street in Langley, it’s a small to medium-sized museum with both indoor and outdoor exhibits.

TIP #6: The Abbotsford Airshow can be a great event for the entire family. For young kids though (or anyone with very sensitive ears) it might not hurt to bring a set of ear plugs for the especially noisy jets.

Abbotsford Airshow
Young Girl with Ear Protectors

Other Information

For further details about the event, or to buy tickets, click Abbotsford Airshow.

For more information about the region, check out Abbotsford or the Fraser Valley.

For ideas on other things to do, check out our August Calendar of Events or click Festivals & Events.