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Airshow London to take to the skies this weekend

London’s skies will be brimming with aircraft this weekend as Airshow London makes its annual return to the London International Airport, but the first day of the event has been cancelled.

On Friday afternoon, organizers announced that “a very poor weather forecast” has prompted them to cancel Friday’s event from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. The announcement comes amid a severe thunderstorm watch from Environment Canada issued for much of southwestern Ontario, including London-Middlesex.

“Safety is the number one priority,” a statement read.

“[E]ven though it is a disappointing decision to make, it is the correct one.”

Saturday and Sunday’s events are expected to proceed as planned and the forecast is calling for mostly sunny skies both days.

Organizers also note that general admission tickets can be used for entry Saturday or Sunday and Friday photo pit one-day passes will be honoured on Saturday or Sunday. Friday night ticket holders with “Flight Line Pub tickets, Business Class Lounge and Runway Seating” will be contacted to exchange their tickets and individual corporate chalet owners will also be contacted by Airshow London.

More than a dozen world-class aircraft performances will take place as the aerial event celebrates its fourth year in the Forest City.

These include the world-renowned Canadian Forces Snowbirds, the CF-18 Demonstration Team and the Canadian Forces SkyHawks, as well as aerial acrobatics from London-based Red Bull Air Racer Pete McLeod.

Jim Graham, chair of Airshow London, says it’s no surprise the city is able to attract such a skilled array of performers.

“London’s got a great representation in the flight suit industry for looking after the crews so they start asking to come,” Graham said.

Graham says attendees will also have a chance to talk to pilots and meet a “whole range of personalities.”

“I’ve met guys that talk about stocks when you’re introduced to them … and I’ve seen guys that are right out there that make Maverick and Top Gun look like a figure skater,” Graham said.

“But they all have one common love of aviation.”

Families will also be pleased to learn Airshow London provides fun for all ages.

“All the crews that are parked on the ground want to talk to the kids. We’ve got a B-17 bomber of World War II vintage so grandpa is going to enjoy seeing that plane as well,” Graham said.

Londoners should also be aware that the airshow will result in a number of road closures surrounding London International Airport from Friday to Sunday this weekend, including:

  • Rebecca Road from Robin’s Hill Road to Evelyn Drive
  • Creamery Road at Dundas Street
  • Evelyn Drive from Rebecca Road to Nissouri Road
  • Robin’s Hill Road between Huron Street and Rebecca Road

Gates will open on Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m. with aerial shows launching at noon.

You can find a full list of performers and grounded displays on Airshow London’s website.

— with files from 980 CFPL’s Jacquelyn LeBel.

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