UPDATE, Sunday, Sept. 9: The primary parking area, the Textron Aviation field, is open. McConnell announced Saturday night that it would reopen. The grassy field was closed last week because recent rains had turned it muddy. Visitors who park there will have a 15- to 20-minute walk.
For the first time in six years, McConnell Air Force Base will open its gates to the general public this weekend for an air show.
The air show is your chance to see all sorts of military planes up close and personal, as well as see performances by the Air Force Thunderbirds and eight different aerobatic performers and teams.
There will also be flybys from an A-10 Warthog, a KC-135 tanker (McConnell’s bread-and-butter) and a C-17 Globemaster.
Plenty of planes will be available for public viewing as well, include “Doc,” a B-52 bomber, a B-2 Stealth Bomber, two F-16 jets, and more.
McConnell has said to expect a “jam-packed ramp” for the air show this weekend.
There will also be concessions stands throughout the grounds, a “kid zone” and a STEM-themed area filled with local exhibitors inside.
The best part: It’s all free.
Here’s what you need to go to the Frontiers in Flight air show this weekend:
When is it?
The air show will run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at McConnell Air Force Base, south of Pawnee on Rock Road.
Where do I park?
There will be free parking available. It was announced Saturday night that the primary parking lot for the air show — a grassy field at Pawnee and Rock — was reopened. That lot was closed Saturday because of the soggy weather last week.
The secondary parking area is on the east side of South Oliver, between 31st Street South and MacArthur (near Spirit AeroSystems and Air Capital Flight Line, the former Boeing site).
There will be handicapped parking available there, as well as free, continuous shuttle service for transportation to the show’s entrance.
Base officials expect to see daily attendance of between 60,000 and 75,000 people.
Traffic control will be provided by Wichita police and the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office.
Where can I see a schedule of events?
Base officials are not releasing an official schedule of events until the morning of the air show, in the interest of security and other operational concerns.
The schedule is expected to be the same both days.
Check www.frontiersinflight.com this weekend to see a complete schedule of events.
Generally, static displays will be open all day, and crew members will be nearby to talk about their planes.
What can I bring to the air show?
Expect TSA/airport-level security measures to be in place at the air show.
You’re fine bringing diaper bags, small purses, wheelchairs, strollers, cameras, lawn chairs, umbrellas and sunscreen.