Plans for Air Show Atlantic 2021 continue: Drive-In Concept

Events & Entertainment The Covid Chronicle

**** Airshow Atlantic Release

Plans for Air Show Atlantic 2021 continue…

We are adapting the design of the show to keep everyone safe. We will do everything we can to present the best air show possible in these extraordinary times. Our re-invention of the Show to be COVID-19 safe will continue to adapt to the fast-changing environment governed by the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness, Events Nova Scotia and Royal Canadian Air Force guidelines.

(updated concept)

We are proceeding with a couple of assumptions:
– That we will have an Atlantic “bubble”, currently scheduled to re-open on April 19, re-established by this Summer, so all of our fans can attend
– That we can get our key support talent and performers into Nova Scotia

When we are confident of these developments, we will proceed with ticket sales. Most importantly, we will keep you and all our stakeholders safe.

Drive-In Concept

This page will give a basic outline of the details of this year’s Air Show and how it will be conducted as a safe and enjoyable event for all. These are subject to change as we are continually working wth input from the Nova  Scotia Department of Health & Wellness, Events Nova Scotia and the Royal Canadian Air Force. It is important that we meet the established standards put forth by all of these organizations, especially in the current COVID-19 environment.


How the Picnic-Style Drive-In Air Show Will Work

The new site setup for this year differs from festival-style shows in that where you park is where you will view from. Traditionally we have parked our fans on closed runways or open fields well behind the spectator area. Fans would then make their way to entry gates which would cause a chokepoint of close contact gathering which we cannot allow in the current COVID-19 environment.

The Parking Plan

In the Picnic-Style Drive-In model, fans drive directly to the viewing area through a main grounds entrance and are then parked into the section that they purchased a ticket for by following signage and then the direction of on-site parking staff; mostly on a first-come, first-served basis. This will drive fans to the site well in advance of the flying time which is anticipated currently to be around 1:00 PM. Special reserved areas for VIP customers and guests as well as the front row of each section will likely be sold as reserved spots. These fans will either be allowed to enter by an exclusive gate and/or earlier than the general viewing public.

Directions regarding parking upon arrival and then later, the leaving process will be broadcast continually throughout the day on the Air Show’s FM frequency.

All vehicles will be parked facing “away” from the air show performance line and runway. Through the experience gained by other drive-in air shows held in the fall of 2020, we have learned that this “tailgate” format is a preferred orientation for vehicles for viewing. The back of a pickup truck can be used as a viewing stand or the raised gate on a minivan or SUV can provide shade as well as effective speakers to listen to the radio show’s announcer.

At the conclusion of the show, vehicles will depart by row rather than a ‘free for all’ departure, under direction from our experienced parking and security team.

The Radio Show

With fans on-site and experiencing different traffic flow and entry logistics, we will be producing a day-long radio show on our own FM frequency within a 3-kilometre range of the airport site. As fans enter the broadcast area they will be informed as to instructions to enter the grounds and find their spot safely and efficiently. They will be entertained, as well as informed while we will be previewing the flying display with interviews of the performers, sponsors and partners, listening to music and lots of related content, as well as pertinent safety/advisory announcements and advertisements.

Section Shepherds

As fans arrive, each section of approximately 100 cars will be met by their “shepherd” for the day. Their job will be to verify tickets and to ensure that the names attending in the spots match with those of the ticket buyer for COVID-19 contact-tracing purposes. In each row of vehicles (an average of 20 per row) there will be a single portable washroom and trash/recycling cans that will be accessible as the only destination one can leave their parking spot for, while wearing a mask, of course. The “shepherd” will be the fan’s main point of contact for any questions or directions on how to safely enjoy the day.

Roving Carts

As a critical mass of fans begin to be parked in their “picnic spot” for the day we will have roving concessions carts going along the front of each parked row of vehicles providing a selection of food, drink, necessities and more. They will be equipped with portable payment terminals that can handle both “tap” transactions (which are recommended when possible) as well as traditional ones using the dial pad. Payments that can be accepted will be Debit, VISA, MasterCard and American Express.

Safety protocols including wearing masks, social distancing and use of hand sanitizer and disinfectants will all be in place, especially for this aspect of the Show operation.

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