Durham Tees Valley 'SkyLive' Airshow 2017 & 2016

SkyLive 2017 Airshow Preview & SkyLive 2016 Review

SkyLive Airshow 2017

27th May 2017


The organisers have promised a bigger and better show for 2017. It needs to be. The 2016 show was good as a general family show with some flying but not memorable as an airshow.

Efforts to make it better included aspirations to include the Swiss F/A-18, but this did not materialise. The RAF have, however, supported the show as they did 2016, promising the Typhoon and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, complete with Lancaster, as well as the Falcons parachute display team. There were also discussions aimed at securing the Chinook and Apache displays. The Apache has not been scheduled but the show says it does have the Chinook, although this is not yet confirmed by the team itself.

There are some of the best civilian displays including the ever-popular Bronco and the Global Stars offering something a little different in the way of light aircraft aerobatics. There was also to have been the spectacular Lauren Richardson in her Pitts, but Lauren and the Breitling Wingwalkers are late cancellations.

The show also features family attractions similar to those offered in 2016, such as plenty of live music, a fairground; classic cars; charity, trade and military stalls and a food village.


Tickets are on sale. Standard prices are the same as last year. Parking costs £5.50 (including booking fee). There is also a transaction fee of at least £2.50, depending on delivery method.

Due to fly (tap / hover over icon for more detail)
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire
Breitling Wingwalkers CANCELLED
RAF Falcons
Global Stars
Hughes OH-6 Cayuse 'Loach'
Lauren Richardson CANCELLED
T-6 'Texan'
Tom Cassells, CAP 232
Boeing 727 Oil Spill Response aircraft will take off and flypast but will not perform a full display
Additionally the following are due to be on static display
The BBMF aircraft, Chinook, RAF Tucano T1, RAF Hawk, Auster WZ706, RN Wildcat and a Boeing 727 Oil Spill Response aircraft have been included in the list of static aircraft due to be at the show.
All appearances are subject to technical, weather and other constraints

Plenty of Family Fun but not much Flying


Along with the Red Arrows, the Typhoon was a major highlight

An estimated 18,00 visitors turned up when Durham Tees Valley Airport hosted an airshow on 28th May, for the first time since 1989. The show secured the cream of the RAF but not a huge number of other displays.

The Red Arrows, Typhoon and the BBMF all displayed, although the Red Arrows were down to 8 jets following a bird strike and the BBMF were without the Lancaster because of essential work to renew pipes and hoses. The RAF Falcons were to have displayed but their jump was cancelled due to an unserviceable aircraft.

The Red Arrows are always popular, even with a slightly unbalanced formation due to the missing aircraft, and being able to see them take off and land is a welcome bonus, but the highlight was the roaring very first public display by the new Typhoon team with pilot Flt Lt Mark Long.

Alongside the RAF there were just a couple of civilian flying displays and a parachute team. There was a static aircraft park with about a dozen aircraft aircraft; live music featuring Bre, Kiera, Jamie, Heavy Mod, and Toploader; military displays, a fairground, classic cars and a food village.

A decent day for family fun, lasting from quite early in the morning until past 10 at night but not particularly busy in the air. But for some superb RAF involvement we would class it as a fête and music family event with some flying rather than a major airshow.

The show was to have returned in 2015 but was postponed until 2016 following the tragic accident at Shoreham airshow the previous week and the new restrictions on flying vintage jet aircraft introduced by the CAA in its wake.

Flying schedule   (tap / hover over icon for more detail)
Red Arrows (RAF) (8 aircraft following bird strike)
Typhoon (RAF)
BBMF (RAF) (Lancaster booked but unserviceable)
RAF Falcons (Cancelled due to unserviceable aircraft)
The Blades
Tom Cassells (CAP232)
Silver Stars Silver Stars (Parachute Display Team)


Local area

Getting to the Show

By car

Use sat Nav DL2 1LU until you get close, but ignore the sat nav in favour of local directions signs as soon as you see them. There are links to route planners in the Travel Advice column if you prefer to plan ahead or don't have sat nav.

By coach

National Express have coach services 425 and 380 to Darlington, just to the west of the airport, from Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, London and places between. You can book seats online. Click the National Express name to go to their web site.

By Train

The nearest train station is Darlington, about 7 miles to the west, which has services operated by Virgin trains.

Click here to create a pocket timetable for your journey between any stations on the National Rail network.

The variety of rail tickets and fares can be very confusing. Trainline and Raileasy web sites list all ticket and fare options for the time and day of travel you choose, but they both levy an admin fee. Click either of the blue ticket agency names to go to their web site.

Travel Advice

Road traffic updates
Highways Agency
National Express
Incidents and enquiries
National Railway Map
DIY pocket timetable
Journey planning by public transport
Route planners (Road)
Bing (Microsoft)

Accommodation near the show

It is best to book as far as possible in advance. This is not only because nearby hotels and guest houses tend get booked up well before the date of an airshow but also because prices can be better when you book early online.

There are plenty of booking agencies. We find that many of the well known ones are better at finding hotels from international or larger UK chains and may suggest hotels in main towns or cities quite a distance from the show site.

Between them, Expedia and LateRooms list a good selection of smaller, as well as bigger, hotels and will find accommodation in villages and small towns as well as the main centres. Expedia also give, and take, Nectar points.

Click either blue agency name for a list of hotels and guest houses near the show. The venue is already built into both links but when the list comes up you do have to enter your dates and the number of people staying.

Trivago will list competitive prices for a range of hotels, but they might not necessarily find them all, because some chains do not subscribe to their service. You can search on 'Darlington Tees Valley Airport' on their site. You may get a better rate if you book direct with an hotel, especially if you are a member of a loyalty or rewards scheme.

The International Hotels Group have two Holiday Inn hotels around Darlington, both within 10 miles of the show and a Holiday Inn Express in Middlesbrough, about 12 miles away. There are three Premier Inn hotels within 8 miles.

Weather for the show area

UK Met Office Forecast

A full 7 day Durham Tees Valley Airport weather forecast from the UK Met Office

The Met office seven-day forecast includes maximum, minimum and "feels like" temperatures, the likelihood of rain, wind direction, gusts and visibility: the latter can have an impact on the viability of displays.

The BBC's five-day forecast has overall conditions including temperatures, UV range and a description that may help to determine how pleasant the day will be for the visitor.

Click the blue-text link to go to the forecast. The location is already built into the links.

2017 Show

27th May

Airshow links

Show's web site

(These prices include the booking fee but there is also a transaction fee)

Adult (16+) £14.85, 5-15 £5.50, 65+ £10, Family (2+3) £36.50.
Parking from £5.50.

Standard prices:
Adult (16+) £16.50, 5-15 £5.50, 65+ £11, Family (2+3) £38.50.
Parking from £5.50.
VIP packages available.


Park from 09.00
Gates 10.00
Flying from 12.30
Music from 17.30


Sat Nav DL2 1LU
For links to travel and route planning web sites, click the 'Getting there' tab