|The historic town of Varazdin in the north of Croatia is an unexpected tourist attraction in a country known best for its seaside. It is located close to the border with Slovenia and Hungary and indeed, the baroque architecture is linked with towns in that part of Europe. After an absence of a few years, 2015 saw the revival of the Croatian International Airshow Varazdin (CIAV) at the local airport, an outstanding occasion to head to Croatia!
The airshow celebrated the 85th anniversary of the aeroclub Varazdin in addition to the 85th anniversary of the first airshow at Varazdin. Some shows carry the epitaph “International” without international involvement, but that is certainly not the case with CIAV. 2 foreign airforces, the Slovenian and Hungarian airforces to be specific, took part, aswell as the Croatian home team that showed up with the Mig-21 and the national demonstration team Krila Oluje. There was also civilian participation from Latvia for the flying display (Baltic Bees) and Austria in the static. All in all, a truly international event, helped by the location at the intersection of 3 countries.
The airfield itself is located just 2 kilometers outside the city and is therefore easily reachable, even on foot, which is just aswell as the city does not have any local bus services. The main sponsor, insurance company “Croatia Osiguranje”, had ample exposure on the showground. The main feature of this public area was a large catering tent which also provided welcome shelter from the blazing sun on both days, definitely very welcome for the families with kids that seemed to make up the bulk of the audience. There appeared to be ample catering available for the audience.
The flying display limited to the afternoon allowed a staggered entry of the audience, so there were no major issues entering the showground. The main road at the airfield and nearby highway also limited any traffic problems as traffic was quickly dispersed, so the show was spared a traffic nightmare.
Watch the complete report above (32 minutes)
Apart from military participants, there were also a few local acts, like the University of Zagreb transportation sciences department and Austrian aircraft manufacturer Diamond, which produces wing parts at Varazdin, performing fly-bys.
The event was clearly a success, able to draw a crowd from 3 countries thanks to its location. Let’s hope the show continues to build on the success of the 2015 edition!
by Chris Janssens
Lay-out and content by Chris Janssens, 2005 - present