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picture for article: Why are air show performer announcements made in December?

Why are air show performer announcements made in December?

MON DEC 11 2023
Written by Carol Cali
Photo: ICAS Education. Photo courtesy of LD Grace


If you follow social media for either the many military aviation demonstration teams, aviation conventions like AirVenture or SUN ‘n FUN, or even your regional air show, you’ve undoubtedly read the various headlines of announcements for next year’s air show circuits. But have you asked yourself what makes this week so special?


All professional sports leagues and college sports associations have designated events where public and private negotiations take place resulting in a celebrated public announcement. A similar process happens for North American air shows too.


Each year in early December, the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) holds its convention. It's during this 3 ½ day event that hundreds of attendees ranging from military officers, aerobatic performers, air bosses, insurance agents, service providers, etc. come together to discuss how the next year’s air show schedule of events can be safer, more cost-effective, and of core thrilling.


ICAS Exhibit Hall


ICAS Exhibit Hall of 255 exhibitors. Photo courtesy of ICAS


ICAS’ roots began in 1967 in the lobby of a hotel in Wisconsin when a group of air show professionals met to discuss how best to address the growing interest in Air Shows. In 1976, ICAS incorporated “…to provide information to air show sponsors and pilots; to promote safety at all aviation events; and to work with government agencies to develop air show safety standards.” Since that time, the organization has grown significantly and has become the recognized world leader on a wide range of air show-related issues, including safety, regulatory concerns, industry standards and best practices, interaction with the military, and professional ethics.



The ICAS Annual Convention is the premiere event for membership education updates as well as the opportunity to meet with all the subject matter experts, service providers, performance teams, and buying decision makers in the 45,000 sq. ft. exhibit hall of 255 exhibitors.


The U.S. military has taken full advantage of the convention to leverage the “all in one place” opportunity for scheduling their demonstration teams and associated aircraft as well as educating the various air show host locations as to updates about their required missions and assets.


Generating a marketing buzz is a large component for some of the attendees of the ICAS Convention. SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo jumped out of the gate with a new campaign to draw attention to their 50th air show convention in April 2024 with a “National Signing Day” promotion of on-the-convention-floor announcements. The U.S. Military Demo Teams like the USAF Thunderbirds, U.S. Navy Blue Angels, USAF F35-A Lightning Demo Team, and F-22 Raptor Demo Team released their air show schedule with even some dates as far out as 2025. The Titan Aerobatic Team announced their new name and branding. Formerly known as the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team, they announced their 2024 schedule as well.



Racing not allowed at new Reno Air Show

Canadian Forces Snowbirds return to Oshkosh in 2024

North American Aerobatic Team debuts new name, sponsorship


One of the biggest surprises came from the Reno Air Racing Association announcing that the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds and the USAF F-16 Viper Demo Team will all be coming to Reno in October 2024 for a full-featured air show. While the 60th anniversary of the Reno Air Races will sadly not include races, the association stated that there will be many air race aircraft, pilots, and special flying events to commemorate the milestone.


So, check the social pages and websites of your favorite aerobatic performers, military demo teams, and air shows, as it is more than likely they’ve announced a significant portion of their 2024 schedule this week. Looking at what’s been announced so far, this air show season looks to be a good one with lots of unique performances, anniversaries, and celebrations.


Originally published on

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