NAS Oceana 2023 Air Show FAQs
What time can I come on base on Saturday or Sunday?
On Saturday and Sunday the gates open to the public at 8 a.m. Flying starts at about 10:20 a.m. and runs until around 4 p.m. or later. Additional information and exact schedule times will be released closer to the event date.
What is the cost of the show?
Admission and parking at the show are free. You can purchase upgraded seating either online via the website (https://www.oceanaairshow.com/tickets/) or at the show itself.
What are the prices for paid seating and the Executive Squadron Chalet?
Executive Squadron Chalet and Reserved seating tickets for both Saturday and Sunday are SOLD OUT!
- Bleacher Seating - $15 online ($20 day of show)
- General Seating - $20 online ($25 day of show)
- Reserved Seats - $25 online ($30 day of show) - SOLD OUT
- Executive Squadron Chalet – Adults $125, Kids 10 & Under Free - SOLD OUT
What is the Executive Squadron Chalet?
The Executive Squadron Chalet (ESC) offers a premium viewing experience located directly next to show center. The ESC features a catered buffet, by Beach Bully, accessible from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. as well as beer, served by Big Ugly Brewing, offered from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Exclusive restroom facilities are also available. Tickets to the ESC are sold out on both Saturday and Sunday!
What STEM exhibits will be featured at the Air Show?
We look forward to welcoming a variety of STEM exhibits this year – over 150 touch points and over 60 organizations will be represented, from NASA to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal community.
What is the difference between Reserved and General seating?
Reserved seats are the first five rows of paid seating. These seats are numbered so you have the same chair for the duration of the event. The general seats are the next ten rows of seats but they are general admission seats so if you leave during the event you may not be able to return to the same chair. Reserved seating tickets for both Saturday and Sunday are SOLD OUT!
What is the food menu in the Executive Squadron Chalet?
The Executive Squadron Chalet (ESC) is a fully catered experience with the best seats in the house! The menu consists of North Carolina-style pulled pork and pulled BBQ chicken, mac & cheese, seasoned green beans, creamy coleslaw, sandwich rolls, assorted cookies, draft beer, lemonade, iced tea and bottled water.
Is there Special Needs seating?
Yes. We have a very robust Special Needs effort at the show to include roving golf carts and a special seating area right near the action. Please make sure your vehicle prominently displays a handicapped placard and you’ll be routed to special parking areas and met by our Special Needs transportation staff.
Are the Saturday and Sunday shows the same?
Yes. The Saturday and Sunday shows are identical.
Can I bring a pop-up canopy tent (10’x10’) for shade?
No, but you can bring umbrellas and folding chairs.
Can we bring in picnic lunches and drinks?
No food or beverage is permitted, but there are a large number of food vendors on the flight line with a huge assortment of various types of food at very reasonable prices.
Where can I get a schedule of events and performers for the day so I know what time different acts are flying?
A detailed schedule and sequence of events is available on the website at https://www.oceanaairshow.com/schedule-performers. As a general rule of thumb, flying will start around 10 a.m. Between 11 a.m. and noon, the National Anthem and several military demonstrations will be performed. After noon, the pace of action will begin to increase, with the Blue Angels performance beginning at 3 p.m.
Who is in charge of booking vendors? How do I become a vendor?
If you’re interested in being a vendor at the NAS Oceana Air Show, please visit the website early next year for consideration
Will the golf carts be available again?
We have a VERY robust Special Needs effort during the show. There are a large number of multi-passenger golf carts to provide service to those that require mobility assistance. These carts typically run routes from the pedestrian entrances to various areas of the show. If you find yourself in need of assistance, please look for any air show staff personnel (staff, security, medical) and they’ll locate the nearest golf cart.
Food options? Cash only?
There will be a large number of food vendors on the flight line during the show ranging from full meals (pizza, gyros, hamburgers, hotdogs, etc.) to specialty foods (ice cream, desserts, etc.) as well as beverages. A good number of the vendors take credit cards or cash. If you need cash while at the show, two Navy Federal Credit Union ATMs will be available on the flight line for your use.
While we’re still designing the flight line layout, the ATMs are historically located on the back of the line (by the hangars) near show center at Hangar 200 and just inside the entrance at Post 5 by the Air Field Tower.
Child safe areas? Mother/child care/breastfeeding area?
The entire flight line and displays are designed for a very family-friendly, kid-safe environment. All ages will find something they’re interested in. We do not have a specific area set aside for breastfeeding but there are a number of shady areas for use. Please remember that the flight line at this time of year tends to be very hot and without shade, and plan accordingly if you do bring our youngest air show fans.
No food or beverage of any kind can be brought into the show, but there will be beer sales on the flight line during the show. Beer vendors include Big Ugly, Bold Mariner, Smartmouth, Vibrant Shore and Wasserhund.
Restroom availability? Handicap accessible? Electronic scooters?
There will be more than enough porta-potties available for your use throughout the flight line and a good number of them are handicap accessible. If you arrive with an electric scooter and need access to Special Needs parking, please display your Special Needs placard prominently and you’ll be routed to the proper area. Once there, you will enter via our screening process
Pets? Emotional Support animals?
No pets are authorized on the flight line. Only designated service animals are allowed.
Parking free? Locations? Handicap parking?
All parking is free and we utilize large areas of the flight line, Main Gate park and lots throughout the base. Upon arrival, please follow the direction of our Security team and they will guide you to parking. If you require Handicap or Special Needs parking, please display your Handicap Placard prominently and you’ll be directed to the appropriate parking lot.
Cameras and camcorders are permitted, and there is no restriction on lens size (within reason). Owners may be required to open all compartments at security checkpoints and allow security forces to inspect equipment. Camera bags will be searched upon entry.
While enjoying the air show, we ask photographers to be aware of all signs regarding prohibited photography, where applicable, and to be mindful of other patrons and their ability to enjoy the show.
There will be areas on our flight line where photography is not authorized. Failure to obey signs and security watch standers will result in removal from the air show.
Can you leave anytime? Can you come back if you leave?
On Saturday and Sunday, the gates open to the public at 8 a.m., flying starts around 10 a.m. and the Blue Angels performance will likely begin between 3 and 4 p.m. Early arrival is best to avoid traffic. You may leave at any time and re-enter after you leave, but bear in mind traffic only gets heavier as the day goes along and you’ll need to exit the base and re-enter with incoming vehicles.
One one-way in and out - what is the traffic pattern?
This information is yet to be released for 2023 but in past years there are two primary ways onto the base via the Main Gate (Tomcat Blvd off of Oceana Blvd) and the Back Gate (Hornet Drive off of Dam Neck Rd.). Each of those routes take you to different parking areas. The traffic pattern and parking lot routing is determined real-time in response to amount of vehicles and status of the respective parking lots. Upon exit, three gates are opened and we do our best to get everyone off the base as fast as we can.
Prohibited items? Specifics.
To keep delays to a minimum, please remember that patrons are not permitted to bring the following items on the flight line. Prohibited items may be confiscated at our security checkpoints:
- Pop-up/shade tents.
- Ice chests or coolers.
- Remote control aircraft, drones, balloons (flight safety issue).
- All weapons (regardless of permit) including: firearms, knives (including pocket knives and multi-tools), and all other items that our security forces deem dangerous. This rule applies to off-duty law enforcement. Any confiscated items will not be returned.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Drugs, including marijuana.
- CBD/THC vape pens
- Pets, other than service animals.
- Glass containers.
- Bicycles, roller skates, roller blades, or skateboards.
- Food and beverages brought in (empty bottles for water are permitted, as well as infant necessities like milk and formula).
The NAS Oceana Air Show is a family friendly event. Over consumption of alcohol leading to disorderly conduct will not be tolerated, and may lead to arrest and/or debarment from the installation.
We recommend spectators minimize the number and size of authorized items to reduce the time required for inspection prior to access into the flight line area. The following items ARE permitted:
- Cell phones, tablets, and FRS transceivers (may be asked to turn off/on).
- Handheld portable televisions, radios, and scanners.
- Small fanny packs and purses.
- Cameras and camcorders (owners may be required to open all compartments at security checkpoints and allow security forces to inspect equipment).
- Camera Bags will be searched upon entry.
- Folding chairs and lawn chairs (chairs in bags subject to search).
- Wheelchairs, mobility aids, and other power-driven mobility devices.
- Baby bags and strollers, if attending with an infant or small child (strollers are not permitted in the grandstand area or paid seating areas; adjacent stroller parking is available). Carts to assist with carrying children in place of a stroller are permitted.
Can I bring drinks? Food?
No outside food or beverage may be brought to the air show.
Smoking (cigarettes and e-cigarettes)?
Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the flight line in the vicinity of aircraft, vendor tents or chalets. There is a smoking area designated by signage at the “back line” of the air show to the left of show center.
For mothers, what items can be brought?
In general, the flight line is designed to be a family-friendly environment. Accordingly, our security procedures allow baby bags and strollers. While all bags will be screened, our staff understands that baby bags will contain water or formula. We also recommend hearing protection for smaller children. For kids under 10, hearing protection in the form of ear muffs (like you’d see at a shooting range or loud workplace) seems to work best as they don’t generally like the foam earplugs that adults are used to.
Gate/security entry details?
There are three primary entry points onto the flight line and all are equipped with TSA-style screening upon arrival.
Expected entry/exit time?
On Saturday and Sunday, the gates open to the public at 8 a.m., flying starts around 10 a.m. and the Blue Angels performance starts between 3 and 4 p.m. Early arrival is best to avoid traffic. You may leave at any time during the show. Some depart before the Blue Angels perform to “beat the traffic” and other stays through the Blue Angels performance and a little later to enjoy the displays and let the existing traffic dissipate. We do ask that all guest departs the flight line by 5 p.m.
What items should I bring?
The NAS Oceana flight line is a very large area so we definitely recommend comfortable footwear. September temperatures are generally mild but be prepared to protect yourself from the sun with a hat, long-sleeved light shirt and sunscreen. There are paid seating areas if you desire to upgrade your experience but you’re more than welcome to bring your own chairs (folding or bagged) to find a spot to set up and watch the show. There are a large number of food/beverage vendors as well that accept cash or charge. And please keep in mind that your safety is our primary concern.
Remember the following important safety tips:
- Uniformed Security personnel are there to help. Follow all instructions from uniformed Security personnel.
- Very few things on our flight line are soft to the touch; most things are made of metal and have lots of edges on them. Keep your eyes focused in the direction you’re walking and be aware of low-hanging (and flying!) Aircraft components.
- Medical personnel are on call to render assistance to anyone that requires it. Notify any uniformed Security personnel or air show worker if you or any member of your group requires medical attention.
Newborns don’t possess the ability to regulate their body temperature very well in hot or cold environments. While they don’t produce much heat internally, they absorb it very well. The conditions on the flight line during mid-September can sometimes be relatively mild but can also get rather warm, depending on forecast temperatures. Also, there is a significant amount of jet noise associated with tactical aircraft and Blue Angels performances. You would definitely want to consult with your pediatrician prior to bringing your newborn to the air show.
Baby changing area?
We will have seven porta-potties with baby changing stations on the flight line.
Strollers allowed? Umbrellas allowed?
Strollers and umbrellas are authorized on the flight line during the show. When using and umbrella for shade, please remember to be courteous to the air show fans behind you and try to not block their view.
Stand seating on Friday?
The paid seating area at the air show on Friday is reserved for Virginia Beach City Public School students. The entire 5th grade (5,500 kids!) is coming to the show on Friday to participate in the STEM event that occurs annually.
While there are no specific medical restrictions, the air show environment can be challenging for some, especially if it is warmer than normal. Attending an air show can involve lots of walking and sometimes high temperatures. We have a very robust medical presence on the flight line in the event of a medical emergency, but guests should use sound judgment based on pre-existing medical conditions or medications.
Who are the performers?
- MH-53 Flyover
- Patriot Guard Riders honoring Women in Aviation
- U.S. Navy parachute team, the Leap Frogs
- Aaron Fitzgerald with red Bull Aviation
- U.S. Navy EOD Jump Team
- Air Power Demonstration
- Fleet Flyby
- Greg Koontz and the Alabama Boys
- Bob Carlton, Vertigo Air Shows
- F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team
- Melissa Burns
- F/A-18 Rhino Demo Team
- Navy Corsair Legacy Flight
- Rob Holland
- HOTSTREAK II Jet Truck
- U.S. Navy Blue Angels
Where do DOD card holders sit on Friday? Seating map for the entire event available?
During the Friday DoD/Dependents/Special Needs Air Show on Friday, the paid seating area is reserved for the entire 5th grade class of Virginia Beach City Public Schools (5,500 kids!) who are attending the show for a STEM field trip. Guests are encouraged to bring folding chairs on Friday (and on the weekend as well).
Size of bags allowed? What type of bags, diaper, medical?
We discourage large bags (larger than backpack size) in order to facilitate a more rapid screening process. All bags entering the flight line will be X-rayed much like at the airport. Diaper and medical bags are naturally authorized to support our guests.
If someone like a balloon artist, face painter, etc. would like to be involved, how would they forward their request?
We do not allow balloons at the air show for safety reasons (hazard to aircraft). Additionally, legal policy does not allow us to host support elements like this that accept tips in return for service.
- Unattended bags and packages will be removed from the premises.
- Neither strollers nor wheelchairs will be available for rent at the air show.
- Sun protection, including hat, long-sleeved shirts and long pants and sunscreen are recommended.
- Water buffalos containing potable water will be available throughout the air show area for guests to access.
- Wear comfortable footwear; the flight line is paved and you may walk long distances.
- Can I bring drinks? Food? No outside food or beverage may be brought to the air show.