HILL AIR FORCE BASE — Get ready for some thrills and breathtaking flying.
The 2016 “Warriors Over the Wasatch” air show is set for June 25-26, and organizers say this year's event promises to offer more than ever before.
“We’ll have more air performances than we've ever had," said Lt. Col. Kristopher Long, the Team Hill Show coordinator. "We are going to have two jet demonstration teams. We are going to have … the pride of the Air Force, the Thunderbirds, as well the Breitling (Jet Team), which normally only tours in Europe, but they are coming here to participate in our show, and they actually asked to be in it.”
Also new this year is a Heritage Flight, said Kevin Ireland, air show coordinator for the Top of Utah Military Affairs Committee.
“We have the first Heritage Flight happening with an F-35 and a P-51 Mustang, which is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime, first-time-ever-seen type of an opportunity that you’re not going to see anywhere else,” Ireland said.
The event is expected to attract between 500,000 and 600,000 visitors, he said.
“We calculate it to be a $50 million to $60 million impact based on the amount of attendance that we have at the show over a two-day period,” Ireland said.
According to exit polls, the annual air show attracts visitors from Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Arizona, California and other states, he said.
The air show is also an open house for Utahns to learn more about military and civilian activities at Hill Air Force Base. It’s also a recruiting and retention tool for the Air Force.
Also new this year, the event will have reserved seating, giving people a VIP set right on the frontline of the airshow for the entire day. The cost of those tickets is $20 per person.
Getting to the air show can be difficult, especially with such a big crowd. This year, the Utah Transit Authority will be running FrontRunner both Saturday and Sunday to help alleviate the traffic jams, Ireland said. FrontRunner normally does not operate on Sundays.
The air show will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Gates will open at 8 a.m., and general admission and parking are free.
For more information, visit theutahairshow.com.