Westover News

The 2018 Great New England Air and Space Show: Answers

WESTOVER AIR RESERVE BASE, Mass. -- The 2018 Great New England Air and Space Show will be held July 14-15. The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds are scheduled to headline the event. This will be the first time in 10 years that the Air Force's official aerial demonstration team has performed at Westover.

There will also static displays of current and historic military aircraft, and various other aerial demonstrations.

This information is subject to changes and revisions. Please check its content as the air show draws closer this summer.

Q- WHAT ARE SOME OF THE HEADLINE ACTS?
A – Aerial demonstration teams include the Thunderbirds and the Geico Skytypers.

Q - WHAT TIME DO THE GATES OPEN?
A – Gates open at 8:30 a.m. on July 14. We strongly advise people to arrive early (but not before 8:30 a.m.). Historically, traffic increases dramatically after 11 a.m. The James Street Gate will be open for the air show.

Q – WHAT TIME DOES THE SHOW START?
A – 10 a.m. Static displays open at 9 a.m. Flying will begin at 10 a.m.

Q- WILL THERE BE HEAVY TRAFFIC?
A – Very likely. It’s important to arrive early, since in previous air shows local roads and parking areas have gotten very crowded after 11 a.m. As a guideline, traffic and parking from the time exiting a highway to arriving on the flight line is at least an hour and progressively longer after noon. Parking lots are expected to be full by 2 p.m.

Q - WILL YOU PRINT A FLIGHT SCHEDULE? WHEN WILL THE THUNDERBIRDS FLY?
A- We will not be printing a flight schedule because of the many variables - including weather and security issues. The Thunderbirds typically are the final flight demonstration of the day.

Q - CAN I BRING LAWN CHAIRS?
A – Lawn chairs and blankets are allowed, but no lounge chairs.

Q - IS THERE A CHARGE FOR ADMISSION/PARKING?
A – There is no charge for admission or parking on base. If the base fills up and we have to rent additional overflow parking, there will be a minimal fee. Base parking lots are expected to be full by 2 p.m.

Q – IS THERE PARKING FOR BUSES AVAILABLE?
A – No.

Q - WILL THERE BE A SHUTTLE FROM THE ON-BASE PARKING AREAS?
A – Yes.

Q - CAN I LEAVE AND RE-ENTER THE AIR SHOW?
A – Yes.

Q - ARE COOLERS PERMITTED?
A – Sorry, coolers are not permitted except for special needs, such as medication or baby formula.

Q - ARE CAMERAS AND VIDEO RECORDERS ALLOWED?
A – Yes.

Q - CAN I BRING AN UMBRELLA?
A - Small personal umbrellas are permitted.
Q - CAN YOU GIVE ME A SCHEDULE OF ACTS?
A – A tentative schedule will be published shortly before the show. However, the schedule is subject to change due to mission requirements, weather, etc.

Q - WHAT IS A STATIC DISPLAY?
A – A static display is a parked aircraft, or any other display that is not moving.

Q - IS THERE SHADE?
A – There is some shade available in the Base Hangar and under the wings of some of the larger static display aircraft.

Q - ARE PETS ALLOWED?
A – Pets are not allowed, except for service animals (Seeing eye dogs, etc.)

Q – HOW DO I OBTAIN INFORMATION ON BECOMING A SPONSOR?

A – Information is available at www.greatnewenglandairshow.com.

Q - HOW DOES A VENDOR RECEIVE PERMISSION TO SELL FOOD/WARES?
A – All requests for information on becoming a vendor or providing services should be directed to: Christopher Menard at (413) 557- 1110, ext. 2899 or email christopher.menard@us.af.mil

Q - WILL THE SHOW BE TELEVISED?
A – Various media will attend. They will televise all or parts as their schedules allow. Westover public affairs will also show video selections on social media.

Q - HOW DO I GET A MEDIA PASS FOR THE SHOW?
A – Email the public affairs office at 439aw.pa@us.af.mil

Q - WHAT HAPPENS IF IT RAINS?
A – The show will go on rain or shine. Cloud cover may affect some of the aerial demonstrations.

Q- WHERE CAN I STAY OVERNIGHT?
A – There are numerous motels and hotels in the area. However, we suggest that visitors make reservations as early as possible. The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau at www.valleyvisitor.com will assist you in finding lodging.

Q – CAN I DRIVE MY MOBILE HOME (RV) TO THE AIR SHOW?
A - No. Unfortunately, our parking lots cannot accommodate oversized vehicles. A vehicle is considered oversized if it's wider than a normal parking space or longer than two parking spaces bumper-to-bumper.

Q – CAN I STAY IN MY MOBILE HOME (RV) OVERNIGHT WHILE PARKED AT WESTOVER?
A - No. Overnight spectator parking on base is not permitted by any vehicle.

Q - IS THERE A PROVISION FOR PRIVATELY OWNED AIRCRAFT TO PARK?
A – All civilian aircraft need to coordinate with Westover Metropolitan Airport. Additional information can be found on their website www.wmass-arptcef.com or call (413) 593-5543.

Q - CAN I BRING FOOD?
A – Yes, however it must be in a clear container.

Q - CAN I BRING A FROZEN DRINK ON BASE?
A – No, you cannot bring frozen drinks on base -- only water in clear plastic bottles.

Q - WHY CAN'T I BRING ICE ONTO THE BASE?
A – Loose ice is prohibited because it is difficult to search. Ice packs are permitted.

Q - IS THERE ANY DANGER OF AN ACCIDENT?
A – Public safety is our top priority. In the event of an emergency or accident the base has set up response measures.

Q - CAN I BRING MY KIDS?
A – Attendants are encouraged to bring their children. There will be special family area for families with children.

Q – HOW LOUD ARE AIR SHOWS LIKE THIS?
A – Some of the performances feature multiple aircraft in formation. Although Westover’s flight line is several hundred feet away from aircraft taking off and landing, air show guests should consider bringing earmuffs or earplugs.

Q - IS CELL PHONE RECEPTION AVAILABLE ON BASE?
A – Yes.

Q - WILL I NEED AN ID TO GET ON BASE?
A - Vehicle operators will need a valid driver’s license.

Q - WILL THERE BE SECURITY ON SITE?
A - Yes, security will be provided by the Air Force, Marines, Army and Massachusetts State Troopers.

Q - WILL THE GUARDS AT THE GATE BE SEARCHING VEHICLES?
A – Yes, all vehicles will be subject to search.

Q - WILL SANITARY FACILITIES BE PROVIDED?
A - Yes, portable toilets will be on site.

Q - CAN TENTS OR AWNINGS BE BROUGHT ON THE BASE?
A – No, these are prohibited.

Q – IS IT LEGAL TO BRING MEDICAL MARIJUANA ON BASE?
A – No. As a federal installation, Westover must follow federal laws.

Q - WILL THE EVENT BE HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE?
A – Yes. All gates will accommodate handicap parking. Members displaying a handicap placard/plate will be directed to handicap parking areas. Signs will be posted as well. Due to the vast area that is open to the public on the base, guests should be prepared to walk long distances in order to see all the displays.

Q - WILL I BE ABLE TO COME ON BASE TO WATCH THE DEMONSTRATION TEAMS PRACTICE FRIDAY BEFORE THE AIR SHOW?
A - To access the base on Friday, you need a military ID, or you may purchase tickets to the air show kickoff breakfast (the web site is greatnewenglairshow.com for tickets). The base isn't open to the general public until the weekend.

Q - WHAT SECURITY CHANGES CAN I EXPECT DUE TO THE BASE’S NEW HEIGHTENED SECURITY LEVEL?
A – Expect to be searched, and expect longer lines to enter the base and the performance area. Do not bring knives or weapons. As a general rule, don’t bring anything on base that you wouldn’t bring on an airplane.

Q – HOW WILL TRAFFIC BE AFFECTED?
A – As always, opening a military base to the public requires standard security measures at the gates. Traffic will be heavy at times during the air show due to the volume of people attending the show. It is possible that wait times to get on base will be longer than past air shows due to the heightened security level on base. Please plan to arrive early, after gates open at 8:30 a.m.

Q- CAN I STILL BRING A BACKPACK? A CAMERA BAG? A DIAPER BAG?
A-Due to the increase in force protection level across North American military bases, large backpacks and camera bags are not allowed. Coolers containing medicine or baby formula are still allowed. Please be patient as all bags will be searched.

Q- CAN I RIDE MY BICYCLE ON BASE?
A- No, bicycles are not allowed at the air show or to get on base.

Q - WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION?
A – Visit www.greatnewenglandairshow.com or www.westover.afrc.af.mil


FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE-

It is recommended:
• Air Show patrons bring only necessary items on their person and limit the size and contents of carry-in-items to those that are essential. You will be permitted to exit and enter the installation as often as you like.
• Food, beverages, and souvenirs will be available for purchase.
• ATM machines will be available.

ALL CARRY-IN ITEMS AND PERSONS ARE SUBJECT TO SEARCH. PLEASE BE PATIENT.
Approved Carry-in Items:
• SMALL purses, fanny packs, diaper bags, backpacks
• Cameras and/or camcorders with SMALL camera bags Baby strollers
• “Small” lawn chairs only (no lounge chairs) Wheelchairs, canes, guide/working dogs to assist disabled individuals

THE FOLLOWING RESTRICTIONS APPLY TO ALL WHO ENTER WESTOVER ARB:
• No coolers (Security Forces will only permit the entry of small coolers carrying lifesaving medicines or formula for young infants).
• No medical marijuana
• No loose ice
• No cans
• No Glass
• No Alcohol
• No pets (except service animals)
• No weapons of any kind (to include pepper spray, pocket knives and other self-defense items)
• No Tents
• No Awnings
• No cooking equipment
• No Roller Blades, Skate Boards, Razor Scooters, Bicycles

***SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS MONITOR THE BASE AT ALL TIME.

***METAL WANDS AND OTHER SECURITY SCREENING MEASURES WILL BE USED TO SCAN PATRONS ENTERING THE BASE.