IT’S time for takeoff.

The 2023 Bournemouth Air Festival is now upon us.

The annual four-day spectacular attracts thousands of visitors from near and far.

Whether it’s your first time attending or your 10th time, here’s everything you need to know about this year’s event.

When is it?

This year’s spectacle will be held from Thursday, August 31 and Sunday, September 3.

Where does it take place?

The main action takes place on Bournemouth beach between Bournemouth and Boscombe piers. 

Is it free?

Visitors don’t need to pay an entry fee to attend as it’s free to watch the event. You will need to take money for any food, souvenirs, and also to pay for parking if you're coming by car.

What planes will I see?

Here's what you can expect to see this year: 

  • The RAF Red Arrows
  • RAF Typhoon
  • The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF)
  • RAF HC6A Chinook
  • Super Pitts Muscle Bi-Plane
  • The Tigers Freefall Team
  • Supermarine Spitfire MK XIX
  • T-67 Firefly
  • WASP HAS1 Helicopter
  • Firebirds
  • P-51 Mustang
  • Fairey Swordfish

Bournemouth Echo:

When can I see the Red Arrows?

The Red Arrows will be soaring across the skies at 5.30pm on Thursday, 5pm on Friday and Saturday, and at 2.45pm on Sunday.

Read more: Bournemouth Air Festival 2023 display times (What we know so far)

What's new for this year?

Bournemouth Echo: Bronco

Bronco (Image: BCP Council)

In a first for the festival, the North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco plane will join the line up, and making their debut will be the Starlings Aerobatic team, who will bring a two aircraft aerobatic display

The world’s first turbo jet-powered bi-plane, which was built in a garden shed, will be appearing at Bournemouth Air Festival for the first time.

Former RAF Tornado pilot Richard Goodwin will be displaying his unique G-JPIT Pitts Special bi-plane at the event.

What happens at night?

Bournemouth Echo:

Night Air will dazzle visitors across three nights. A number of aircraft will be taking to the skies on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at dusk.

It will include the Typhoon, Otto Schweizer 300, and Firebirds.

Otto the Helicopter will light up the night with an impressive fireworks display, while the Firebirds also involve pyrotechnics.

Night Air is also free to attend.

Read more: 'I call the show a sky-gasm': The 'bonkers' display of Otto the Helicopter

Bournemouth Echo:

What else is happening?

There will be flying displays across all four days but there’s also lots more going on.

A free fireworks display on Bournemouth beach will bring Friday and Saturday night to a close at 10pm.

There will also be:

  • Armed forces villages on the beach
  • A Royal Air Force Village on East Overcliff
  • Funfair rides on the seafront
  • Food and drink stands
  • Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines who will be performing Sunday morning 11am to 12pm
  • Beat Retreat Sunset Ceremony in the Lower Gardens on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 6.45pm
  • Commando Recruiting Team giving Unarmed Combat demonstrations on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 6.20pm
  • A big screen

Read more: Top 5 campsites to stay at within a 30 minutes drive of Bournemouth Air Festival

Bournemouth Echo:

How do I get there?

Bike or E-scooter

Organisers of the air festival are encouraging people to take a Beryl Bike or E-scooter to the festival where possible. E-scooters and bikes aren’t allowed on the site itself.


A park and ride beach bus service will run every 15 minutes on all four days of the festival from Kings Park, BH1 4NN.

Parking is free but there is a charge of £15 for a return bus ticket which will drop you off at Manor Road next to the event site on the East Overcliff, BH1 3EZ.

It is then about 5-10 minutes’ walk to the event site.

Tickets entitle up to seven people per vehicle to use the bus.

Buses will run between 9am and 11pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and from 9am to 7pm on Sunday.

Visitors coming by car are advised to use the park and ride or use Avenue Road or Richmond Hill multi-storey car parks which tend to be less busy


If you’re coming by train, there’s a railway station in Bournemouth which is around a 30-minute walk to the seafront.


Morebus is urging people to leave their cars at home and hop on a bus to ease traffic chaos

The bus operator will be running a number of routes across the conurbation which residents and visitors can use for the four-day event. 

I'm coming for the first time, what else should I know?

Daily Echo readers recently shared their top tips for first time visitors which may help.  

How do I find out more?

The Air Festival brochure is available now priced at £6.50 (plus £3 postage and package if you want it posted)

More details on ordering a copy and a list of stockists can be found at bournemouthair/