Tees Valley Airshow
24th May 2020
The Durham Tees Valley Airshow in the same location was a good, varied, family show with some flying, but not a huge success as an airshow. After a couple of years the show was discontinued amid some discontent between the then owners and the show organisers. At the beginning of 2019, the Tees Valley Combined Authority took a controlling stake in the airport which has since been renamed Teesside International Airport.
The new owners are enthusiastic about the airshow which promises at least as much family entertainment as before but with scope for more flying displays and has a bargain entry price.
As well as the flying and static aircraft displays, arena events, live music, a funfair, food village and motor show are all planned. More details are on
their web site and will be here as they are announced.
SkyLive Airshow 2018 Cancelled
was to have been 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. The show organisers said at the time that the airport owners had caused the cancellation, citing regulations, the cost of satisfying them and financial losses they say they have had to bear.
The organisers dispute this, saying that the show would have continued to grow. A few possible alternative venues have been suggested, but none came about.
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 aspiration was not realised.
|Aircraft in 2017
|Flying list (tap / hover over icon for more detail)|
||Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire|
||Breitling Wingwalkers CANCELLED|
||Hughes OH-6 Cayuse 'Loach'|
||Lauren Richardson CANCELLED|
|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; 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)|
||BBMF (RAF) (Lancaster booked but unserviceable)|
|RAF Falcons (Cancelled due to unserviceable aircraft)|
||Tom Cassells (CAP232)|
||Silver Stars (Parachute Display Team)|
Getting to the Show
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.
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.
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
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.