What a great airshow, one might say the best yet. The airshow was a success in all areas, and we are very pleased with the way the event ran over the three days of Easter with no problems on the ground or in the air.
Thank you to everyone who attended, without a good attendance this airshow would not have been the success it was.
Good Friday's crowd was around 20,000 and this was great for practice and trade expo day. Saturday saw the airfield packed with an estimate of 50,000 people attending, and Sunday's crowd was around 29000. It's always hard to estimate crowd numbers but we do know this was a better result than 2002. The weather I'm sure made a big difference and the new traffic management we put in place certainly helped with the movement of vehicles into the event.
Our Gold Pass area sold out four weeks prior to the event with approximately 48% of the patrons coming from offshore with the majority from Australia. Tour company numbers were up this year with organised groups coming from all parts of the globe.
The line up of aircraft was one of the best with four coming from overseas. Aircraft such as the Kittyhawk's, Mustang's, Polikarpov's the Spitfire, and Hurricane are always popular, but the attraction for most people was the Corsair along with the Breitling Fighters. The stars of the show were Jurgis Kairys in his Sukhoi SU-31, and the Lavochkin LA9. World War I aircraft appearing this year were a great sight.
Our special guest Buzz Aldrin was a hit with the crowd and he went home with all praise for the show and I'm sure we will see him back in New Zealand.
The set up of the Trade Expo was done differently this year. The Royal New Zealand Air Force came up with another great display on the ground as well as in the air. Warhorses At Wanaka excelled with their displays as did the Vintage Machinery and the Classic Fire Engines. These displays are always popular and will remain a part of this three day event.
Media numbers were up on previous years and once more many came from overseas. In attendance was a crew from Star TV in Asia and their footage shot at the airshow will be aired on Star World throughout Asia.
Thanks again to everyone who attended and to all those who helped put this event together. Special thanks to sponsors and participants. See you again in 2006.
Friday 9th April
Practice day, all ground exhibits open.
Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th April
Buzz Aldrin in attendance
Helicopters, civil aircraft, novelty acts, aerobatics and Warbirds
RNZAF in action
Mock Airfield Attack