|Romaniaís capital of Bucharest seems a somewhat unlikely location for an airshow, but over the past few years, the Bucharest International Air Show (BIAS) has been expanding impressively and has become a stalwart on the European airshow calendar. Given the rarity of the Romanian air force, in western Europe, the event is very popular with aviation enthusiasts from that part of the continent.
The airshow is held at Baneasa airport, located just outside the city center, one of Bucharestís two airports. The other airport, Otopeni, is better known to foreign travellers as it is the main passenger gateway to Bucharest and Romania, with Baneasa targeting business traffic.
Bucharest International Air Show is a civilian-organized event but it sees strong support from the Romanian air force, who bring along almost everything in their inventory for solo demonstrations or role demos. In addition, there are also some select high-profile foreign civilian displays to supplement the civilian displays presented by the Romanian Aeroclub and its members. Foreign military participants complete the party, which lasts all day from almost 9AM until about 9:30PM. This means that the show runs all the way past sunset and also includes a few pyrotechnic acts.
Access to the show is free and it is easily reachable via public transport. The showground contains large sheltered areas, not a fancy luxury with the very high temperatures in the region during summer time. There is lots of catering but despite this, there were very long queues, due to the enormous crowds that visited the event.
The static was not very large but full of special items not often seen at airshows. The commentary came from large sound towers blasting the commentary across the large apron of Baneasa, with music at times.
Watch the complete report above (64 minutes)
Most of the acts flew twice during the course of the day. A lot of visitors came and went during the course of the day, underlining the ease of access and proximity to the city which has two million inhabitants.
In all, over 200000 visitors came to see the show during the course of the day and they were not disappointed with a programme chockful of variation. Add to that the rarity of the displays presented and the added bonus of seeing Bucharestís capital and you have all the makings of a memorable weekend out. 2018 will see the tenth edition of the show on 28 July.
|Report by Chris Janssens
Lay-out and content by Chris Janssens, 2005 - present