VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — After being canceled for the last two years, the NAS Oceana Air Show is set to return in 2022.
Capt. Bob Holmes, the commanding officer of Naval Air Station Oceana, made the announcement this morning alongside Virginia Beach Mayor, Bobby Dyer.
The annual air show is set to come back on Sept. 17 and 18. The theme for this year’s show is titled “Back to the Beach.”
The air show is open to the public, and admission and parking are free.
“Our theme this year pays homage to our deep roots here in the Hampton Roads area, and our steadfast
commitment to our surrounding community, especially as we navigated the impacts of coronavirus together,” said Holmes.
“Safety is always our top priority, and we made the tough but necessary decision to cancel last year’s air show due to high community transmission of the coronavirus. This year, we look forward to welcoming visitors from across the country and around the world to come back to Virginia Beach, and back onboard the Navy’s East Coast Master Jet Base.”
The two previous shows were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, the in-person event was replaced with a live-broadcast air show.
The event has been held nearly every year since 1953 and normally attracts more than 250,000 spectators during the two-day event.
“This is going to be beyond symbolic, when we think about all the things that are going to come back in Virginia Beach… we’re open for business.” Mayor Dyer said.
Several performers have already been announced for this year’s show, including the return of the Blue Angels along with the Navy’s flight demonstration team and a variety of military and civilian aviation performances. The last time the Blue Angels performed at this airshow was in 2018.
“A lot has changed, so the blue angels are sporting their brand new F-18 Super hornets which is very indicative and very similar to the aircraft that we proudly host on our flight line,” Holmes said.
He also announced the return of a massive field trip for Virginia Beach public school fifth-graders will take place on Sept. 16.
“5th graders will get a front-row seat during our airshow practice day while engaging in full STEM emersion,” Holmes said.
Drones are not permitted at NAS Oceana. The usage of drones can threaten the safety of aircraft, military personnel, and nearby civilians. Flying a drone within five miles of NAS Oceana, including the Oceanfront resort area, is also prohibited.
Check WAVY.com for the latest updates.