Pacific Airshow Gold Coast spreads its wings wider for 2024

Pacific Airshow Gold Coast spreads its wings wider for 2024

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Pacific Airshow Gold Coast has confirmed its expansion as it locks in dates for its second year.

Tickets have gone on sale for the 2024 show, slated for 16 to 18 August in Surfers Paradise, with organisers signalling plans to extend the event along the beachfront after last year’s show attracted around 250,000 people including 100,000 paying attendees.

The show this year will take up around 1.5 kilometres of the Surfers Paradise Esplanade, up from 1km in 2023.

“As we gear up for our second year, the anticipation and excitement are higher than ever. Given we sold out tickets for last year’s event, I strongly suggest you secure your space on the sand very early,” said Pacific Airshow Gold Coast director Kevin Elliott.

“We’re building on last year’s smashing success, aiming to make Pacific Airshow Gold Coast an even more breathtaking experience.”

Queensland Tourism Minister Michael Healy hailed the success of last year’s show and its contribution to Gold Coast tourism.

“We saw hundreds of thousands of spectators hit the beach to witness what was a spectacular inaugural Pacific Airshow display and I have no doubt tickets will be hot property again this year,” he said.

“The event was also a soaring success for the Gold Coast’s visitor economy, with visitors staying 110,000 visitor nights over the weekend – a welcome boost for local accommodation, restaurants and attractions.

“We’re looking forward to seeing another world-class edition of the Pacific Airshow on the Gold Coast this year.”

The Pacific Airshow Gold Coast was created by the team behind the Pacific Airshow at Huntington Beach, California, which attracts three million visitors.

Launched in 2016, the original Pacific Airshow in California in 2021 included aerial displays by the US Navy Blue Angels, US Air Force Thunderbirds, Royal Air Force Red Arrows, and the Canadian Forces Snowbirds.

The Gold Coast schedule for 2023 included flypasts from RAAF C-130 Hercules and Boeing C-17 Globemaster aircraft, as well as displays from the RAAF, US Marine Corps and US Air Force.

In addition, Westpac Helicopter conducted a lifesaving rescue helicopter demonstration, Gold Coast Skydive performed a formation skydive, and Fw190 Downunder and the Precision Fighters showed off a Focke Wulf 190, P-51D Mustang, and a P-40 Kittyhawk, among other displays.

Speaking to the Gold Coast Bulletin last year, Elliott had signalled that the show was looking at expanding its footprint.

“We built the venue and sized it for what we thought we could sell without taking more of the beach than we thought we needed. The last thing we wanted to do was take more beach than there was demand. Fortunately for us, demand met our capacity,” he said.

“Now we know there is more demand we can expand. Next year we plan to expand the event precinct, even wider, to accommodate more capacity.

“I think we can go 50 per cent larger – there are a lot of ways we can expand, either side [of the beach area], push back in the street a bit too which would require diligent planning and traffic management. We close the street anyway so we’ll look at that.”

Organisers hope that the event, which features air power assets from both the RAAF and the US Air Force, will deepen the bonds between the two partner nations while stimulating interest among attendees to consider a career in the Australian Defence Force.

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