Home Vancouver Events Calendar Festivals and Events in Vancouver in 2024 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.

If you like airplanes and aerial stunts, another great event is Chilliwack Flight Fest. In 2023 it was a week later, on August 20th. It’s nowhere near as big as the airshow in Abbotsford, but it’s far less crowded and admission to it is free!

To learn about the above and other events happening on the same weekend as the airshow, see Vancouver’s August Festivals & Events Calendar. To learn about the Abbotsford Airshow, however, continue reading.


This article contains information about the following topics:

About the Airshow | Show DetailsHighlights | ScheduleAdmission 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.


BC Day Long Weekend


Abbotsford Airshow in 2023

The Abbotsford International Airshow celebrated its 61st anniversary in 2023. The airshow ran from August 11th to 13th at its usual Abbotsford Airport (YXX) venue at 1595 Townline Road in Abbotsford. Dates for the show’s run in August 2024 are to be confirmed.

The event has been taking place each summer for over 60 years and typically draws over 125,000 people, making it Western Canada’s largest airshow.

In 2023 performers included a CF-18 Hornet demo, the United States Air Force Lightning II, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, 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. 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 participate as well.

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.

The Abbotsford International Airshow was cancelled in 2020 due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. However, the event returned in a modified format in August of 2021. It happened in its regular format in 2022 and again in 2023.



Another airplane-related event is Chilliwack Flight Fest which, in 2023, took place a week after the Abbotsford Airshow, so on August 19th and 20th. Whereas the Abbotsford event costs about $40 for adults per day at the gate, the Chilliwack event, although much smaller, is free.



Taking a Look at a Fighter Display


Airshow Details

The 2021 Abbotsford International Airshow was labeled “SkyDrive.” It was a drive-in experience where attendees were given a 20-foot by 20-foot square of space to park their cars and enjoy the show. The event returned to its normal format in 2022.


2023 Details

In 2023 the Abbotsford International Airshow happened on August 11th, 12th and 13th. Hours on the Friday were from 2:00 pm until 10:00 pm, and then from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm on the Saturday and Sunday.

The show in 2023 featured lots of amazing aerobatic performances and demonstrations. Other things to have checked out included a Static Aircraft Display and the S.T.E.M (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) Activity Zone. There were flight simulators, craft beer tents, food trucks and more to enjoy.


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


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.


Airshow Highlights and Performers

Below is information about what to expect at the airshow.

A major highlight of the event is the Twilight Show. In 2023 it happened on the Friday evening. On that day there were hot air balloons, a GhostWriter performance, a drone light show, and more.


BC Day Long Weekend


Airshow Schedule

The 2023 schedule of events is listed below.

(Note: Times and details were subject to change.)


Friday, August 11th, 2023 (Twilight Show)

  • 2:00 pm – Gates opened
  • 5:30 pm – Opening and Anthems, Canadian Forces Skyhawks, USAF C-17 Globemaster III
  • 6:00 pm – Canadian Forces Snowbirds, RCAF Search & Rescue Demo
  • 7:00 pm – USAF F-35 Lightning II Demo, Historic Warbirds, Melissa Burns
  • 8:00 pm – USN E/A-18G Growler Demo, RCAF CF-18 Hornet Demo
  • 9:00 pm – Kyle Fowler, Ghostwriter (Nathan Hammond), Northstar Drone Shows
  • 10:00 pm – Gates closed


Abbotsford Airshow Fireworks
Fireworks Night at the Abbotsford Airshow


Saturday, August 12th, 2023

  • 9:00 am – Gates opened
  • 11:30 am – Opening and Anthems, Canadian Forces Skyhawks, Historic Warbirds
  • 12:00 pm – RCAF Search & Rescue Demo, NORAD Interdiction Demo
  • 1:00 pm – Kyle Fowler, USAF C-17 Globemaster III, Melissa Burns
  • 2:00 pm – USN E/A-18G Growler Demo, Canadian Forces Snowbirds
  • 3:00 pm – Ghostwriter (Nathan Hammond), USAF F-35 Lightning II Demo
  • 4:00 pm – RCAF CF-18 Hornet Demo Team
  • 5:00 pm – Gates closed


Sunday August 13th, 2023

  • 9:00 am – Gates opened
  • 11:30 am – Opening and Anthems, Canadian Forces Skyhawks, Historic Warbirds
  • 12:00 pm – RCAF Search & Rescue Demo, NORAD Interdiction Demo
  • 1:00 pm – Kyle Fowler, USAF C-17 Globemaster III, Melissa Burns
  • 2:00 pm – USN E/A-18G Growler Demo, Canadian Forces Snowbirds
  • 3:00 pm – Ghostwriter (Nathan Hammond), USAF F-35 Lightning II Demo
  • 4:00 pm – RCAF CF-18 Hornet Demo
  • 5:00 pm – Gates closed


Fighter Jet Display at Abbotsford Airshow
A Fighter Jet in the Static Display


2023 Performers

Featured performers in 2023 included the following:


Past Performers

Performers and demonstrators from past years have included the following:


USAF C-5 Galaxy at Abbotsford Airshow
USAF C-5 Galaxy


More Past Performers

Other planes and pilots that have participated in previous years include the following:

  • USAF C-5 Galaxy – a giant American military transport plane built by Lougheed and maintained by Lougheed Martin.
  • Jodi Rueger – a veteran pilot and former flight instructor from London, Ontario.
  • Kent Pietsch Airshows – a one-man show demonstrating awe-inspiring routines.
  • Messerschmidt Me-109 – a combat plane that first flew in 1935.
  • Rob Holland – the New England-based American stunt pilot performed in his all carbon-fiber American-made 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 World War II and throughout the 1950s) and an A-1 Skyraider (used in the Korean and Vietnam wars).
  • F8F Bearcat – an American World War II 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.
  • Yak 110 – a combination of two Yak-55 and a spare jet engine were used to create this innovative aircraft.
  • RCAF Search and Rescue Demo – demonstrating the Cyclone, a ship-borne helicopter.
  • US Air Force Thunderbirds – US air demonstration flight team.


A-10 Thunderbolt II Demo
A-10 Thunderbolt II


Airshow Admission Prices

Tickets for the airshow are usually cheapest when purchased online and prior to August. Children under 5 years of age are free admission. Youth ages 6 to 17 are about half the regular adult price. General admission tickets are valid on one of the three airshow days. For the 2022 airshow, multi-day passes were also available. Parking is between $14 and $15 per vehicle for a day.

Below were the advance (while quantities last) and regular online rates for the 2023 Abbotsford International Airshow.


Walk-in General Admission

  • Adults (ages 18+) – $34.99 advance; $39.99 regular per day
  • Youth (ages 6 to 17) – $17.49 advance; $19.99 regular per day
  • Parking Pass Near Site for One Vehicle – $13.99 advance; $14.99 regular per day
  • Children (under 5 years of age) – Free
  • Active and Retired Military Personnel – Free (must show military ID)


General Admission with On-site Parking

  • Car Pass for One Vehicle (maximum five people ages 6 and over) – $99.99 advance; $109.99 regular
  • Van Pass for One Vehicle (maximum eight people ages 6 and over) – $154.99 advance; $169.99 regular


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 usually have the option to pay extra for premium seating.

In 2023 there was Runway Seating (for between $10.99 and $11.99 extra), Family Garden Seating and Flight Club Seating (for between $74.99 and $79.99 extra). There was also Photo Pit (for between $109.99 and $119.99 extra for one day, and for between $219.99 and $239.99 extra for three days) and President’s Club (single for between $199.99 and $214.99, and for a reserved table for six for between $1,399.99 and $1,499.99). Prices for each of these sections (except for the Photo Pit and President’s Club premium options) were in addition to the regular cost of gate admission.

Runway Seating gets you a chair near the runaway. Family Garden 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. The Photo Pit includes admission to the airshow and on-site parking, as well as a centre spot to take photos. The President’s Club option includes VIP admission to the airshow plus on-site parking, as well as catered meals.


Canadian Snowbird Planes at Abbotsford
Snowbirds at the Abbotsford Airshow


Tips & 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. 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 usually 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’s recommended to bring along a set of ear plugs for the especially noisy jets.

TIP #7: If you like airplanes, then also check out Sky’s No Limit: Girls Fly Too. It’s a free event where you can climb aboard and explore a variety of aircraft. Women and girls who have never been in a plane before can also get free flights! The event takes place in October at the Abbotsford Airport.


Abbotsford Airshow
Young Girl with Ear Protectors


Other Information

To learn more about the event, or to buy tickets, see the Abbotsford Airshow‘s website.

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.

Other articles that might be of interest include the following: