The International Ayr Show - Festival of Flight

September 9th 2023

The International Ayr Show - Festival of Flight

9th September


The Swiss F/A 18 displayed in Ayr in 2018

The last airshow in Ayr was in 2018. Ayr did not host an airshow in 2019 but it was hoped that an alternative venue, possibly Kirkcaldy, would hold it in that year. However, it was not possible to agree the arrangements.

The show, then the 'Scottish International Airshow' was therefore not held at all in 2019 but the TSIA said that the show, due back in Ayr for 2020, would be 'bigger and better' than before, with a three-day Friday-to-Sunday format. The news was detailed on their Facebook Page. However, a disagreement about funding (see the grey box) caused the show to be cancelled.

No details of any 2021 proposals were released. News about the airshow in 2022 broke in January. In essence, the decision was that there would be no show in 2022 either.

Towards the end of 2022, however, the South Ayrshire Council decided to invest £300,000 per annum over five years to fund a new airshow in Ayr and that funding was formally approved by the Council on 1st March 2023.

Previously, the Council had paid a grant to others to run the airshow but the Council have now decided to take responsibility for the non-aviation side themselves and have arranged for a partner, SKYLAB, to look after the flying elements. In this way, the Council hopes to receive income, to recover its investment, and even to make a profit. The Council's show, which is not linked to the former Scottish International Air Show, will be called 'The International Ayr Show - Festival of Flight'.

The show had long been earmarked for September but the exact date was not released until December 2022. In a press release, the air element of the show was confirmed as 9th September, with other events on the Friday and Sunday.

Further details will be available in due course and will be summarised here.

2020 Show cancellation

Click any blue text to go to the source document.

The local authority was due to pay £250,000 towards the cost of the 2020 show but, as reported in the local newspaper, The Daily Record, they say they mistakenly paid an £80,000 invoice to the show organisers late the previous year. The news report suggested that the show was at risk unless the £80,000 was returned. The show organisers denied that the payment was a mistake.

As reported later in the same newspaper South Ayrshire Council said that, as the dispute had not been settled, they would withhold the £250,000 that would otherwise have been paid to help fund the show in 2020.

The organisers maintain that they acted properly and that no monies were received in error. Nevertheless, without the £250,000 they could not afford to run the show, which was consequently cancelled. The show's response to the Council's decision to withhold funds, and their statement about the cancellation, are on their Facebook Page

There is also an article in the Ayrshire Daily News which quotes directly from statements made by both parties.

AircraftDetails of more displays in 2023 will be here when known
Red Arrows BAe Hawk T1 (x8)Red Arrows
RAF Typhoon, 2022-3 liveryEurofighter Typhoon FGR4 (RAF)
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (aircraft to be confirmed)

In case there are mistakes or changes, please check the show's site for the latest list.
Appearances are always subject to technical, weather and other constraints.


An earlier airshow in Ayrshire closed in the early 1990's but, following the closure of the show at Leuchars in 2013, flying returned to the area in 2014 as ‘The Scottish Airshow’.

The first dusk flying was in 2016, followed by a full day's flying on the Saturday. In 2017 the show lost its flying after dark but stretched to a two-day Saturday and Sunday show. The 2019 show lost its Ayr funding and another venue was sought but not found. The show was due back at Ayr in 2020 but was cancelled following a disagreement between the organisers and South Ayrshire Council about funding.

The Council has now decided to fund its own show. The first 'International Ayr Show - Festival of Flight' will probably be held in September 2023.

Getting to the show

By car

Use postcode KA7 2XA in the Sat Nav until you get close, but ignore sat nav in favour of local airshow signs as soon as you see them

There are links to route planners in the Travel Advice section.

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.

Some Options

There are two nearby Premier Inn hotels, one at the racecourse, about 3 miles out of town, and one at the airport, about 6 miles away.

There is a Travelodge in Ayr and another just outside Kilmarnock, about 12 miles from the show.

Click any of the blue names to go to the corresponding web site. The links already have the location built in, but please check, and change as necessary, the dates, number of rooms and number of guests.

Weather for the show area

UK Met Office Forecast

A full 7 day Ayr weather forecast from the UK Met Office

BBC Forecast

A 14-day forecast from the BBC

What the forecasts tell you

The Met Office 7-day forecast includes actual and "feels like" temperatures, the likelihood of rain, wind speed, wind direction, wind gusts and visibility: the latter can have an impact on the viability of displays.

The BBC's 14-day forecast has overall conditions including and hourly estimate of temperature, wind direction, wind speed and UV range.

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

2023 Show Basics


9th September 2023

Airshow links

Airshow's web site