Special anniversary edition of Australian International Airshow cancelled

AVALON | The already-postponed Australian International Airshow 2021, which was due to mark the centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force, has been cancelled due to coronavirus concerns.

An RAAF F/A-18A Hornet at the Australian International Airshow 2015. Photo: William Reid

The hybrid trade and public event, held at Avalon Airport south of Melbourne, was originally due to take place in February, but was postponed to the 30th November-5th December 2021, with the latter three days being open to the public. It was to be one of the centrepiece events of the RAAF centenary, featuring one-off celebratory displays and flypasts, as well as a bumper line up of international participants.

However, the decision was taken on Tuesday 10th August to cancel the event for this year, with organisers citing “uncertainty created by the impacts of the Delta variant of Covid-19.” Australia, which contained the virus effectively through strict regionalised lockdowns in early 2020, is now experiencing a substantial third wave of the disease, with much of the population placed in lockdown once again.

A strict ban on international travel, put in place early last year, also remains in force, with travel unlikely to open up until at least 2022.

“Delivering such a highly complex, hallmark event in these challenging circumstances would involve risks of uncertainty for attendees, participants, industry and the Australian public,” said AMDA chief executive Ian Honnery.

“Therefore, in order to minimise uncertainty and disruption to attendees and participants, the difficult decision has been taken now that Airshow 2021 will not go ahead.”

The next edition of the show is planned for the 28 February-5 March 2023.