Durham Tees Valley 'SkyLive' Airshow 2018 & 2016

SkyLive 2018 Airshow CANCELLED & SkyLive 2016 Review

SkyLive Airshow 2018

May 27th 2018


The organisers had promised an announcement on the 2018 show. Details of flying displays were expected but the story was instead the cancellation of the show. More details will emerge as time goes by, but it appears that the airport owners have caused the cancellation, citing regulations, the cost of satisfying them and financial losses they say they have had to bear.

The show organisers dispute this, saying that the show would have continued to grow. A few possible alternative venues have been suggested, but it is too early to say whether any will be viable.

The 2016 show was good as a general family show with some flying but not memorable as an airshow. The 2017 show was a little better but still not as good as the hype. The 2018 had been intended to build on the improvement over the previous two years but that opportunity will not be realised unless an alternative venue is found.

Aircraft in 2017
Flying list (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 were on static display
The BBMF aircraft, Chinook, RAF Tucano T1, RAF Hawk, Auster WZ706, RN Wildcat and a Boeing 727 Oil Spill Response aircraft

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.

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
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.

Expedia lists 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. They also give, and take, Nectar points.

Click the blue Expedia name for a list of hotels and guest houses near the show. The venue is already built into the link but when the list comes up you do have to enter your dates and adjust, if necessary, the number of rooms required and guests 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.

2018 Show Basics

May 27

Airshow links

Show's web site


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