The last Sunderland Airshow, their 31st, was in 2019. Subsequent shows were cancelled due to Covid and then due to a rethink by the Council about entertainment events. The latest from the Council is that there are no plans to run another airshow. We will report here any news that brings more certainty, either way.
Sunderland has been one of the longest-running seaside airshows. Activities usually start on Friday evening and continue all day Saturday and Sunday, with flying displays and arena events.
Normally, visitors expect a very good military presence in the air and on the ground with RAF, Army and Navy military villages as well as the usual craft and trade stands. However, regrettably the show was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 because of Covid-19.
The 2022 show was planned for July but the City Council instead issued a statement about rethinking the events programme and hinting that the airshow would not figure in it. The statement is reproduced below.
The local news media reported that the 2023 show had also been cancelled and that the Council has no plans to run a show in the future, partly for environmental reasons. The media report is here.
Sunderland City Council has announced that it is rethinking its events programme.
This is in light of listening to residents' views around events through its Let's Talk consultation last August and also continuing uncertainty around Covid.
The consultation was focussed around seeking residents views both on existing events and the type of events they would like to see in the future and the Council will be announcing new events soon.
Continued uncertainty around the pandemic and the impact this has on planning for events has also led to the decision that Sunderland Airshow will not go ahead this summer [emphasis added].
The Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Graeme Miller, said: "We know from our own experience and that of other event organisers over the last 22 months just how difficult Covid makes it to plan for events, particularly when it comes to large scale events with a long lead in time such as the Sunderland Airshow.
"Because of the nature of the airshow and the infrastructure and contracts that need to be put in place to support it, we have reached the stage where we would need to commit now to allow the event to go ahead this summer which we just don't feel able to do that at the moment. It simply doesn't make financial sense at this point in time to make such a commitment given the current uncertainty around the pandemic and the fact that we don't where we are likely to be with Covid come the summer.
"However residents can rest assured that events remain as important to this city as ever as our own events programme and those of our partners continue to grow and evolve, attracting exciting new events which appeal to residents and visitors alike.
"We also recognise that it's vital to listen to residents and to refresh our events programme from time to time which is why we held our Let's Talk events consultation in the summer to give residents the opportunity to give their views on our events programme and the type of new events they would like to see in our city.
"We know that residents are keen for there to be new and different events in the city and ones that they can take part in as well as attend with family and friends. This is also in line with the ambitions set out in our City Plan around more people getting physically active. So we'd urge people to keep an eye out for details of exciting new events which will be announced in coming months."
Click the blue text to see the original statement from the Sunderland City Council about the 2022 airshow and other events
The nearest main road to the flying line is the A183, Whitburn Road. Use sat nav SR6 8AB 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 other route planners in the Travel Advice section.
Sunderland is about 20 minutes from Newcastle and to there about another hour from York, 1½hours from Edinburgh, 2½ hours from Manchester or 3 hours from London.
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.
There are two Premier Inn hotels in Sunderland and another 11 within 15 miles.
Travelodge have two hotels in Sunderland itself and another six within 10 miles.
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.
A full 7 day Sunderland weather forecast from the UK Met Office
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.
There are no current plans to hold an airshow in Sunderland
Sat Nav SR6 8AB
For links to other travel and route planning web sites, click the 'Getting There' tab