Quinte International Air Show 2016

The Quinte International Air Show hosted by 8 Wing CFB Trenton came back in a big way on the weekend, after a 13-year hiatus, attracting close to 80,000 visitors. A massive team effort was required to bring to fruition one of the most popular and largest air shows in Canada. Colourful SkyHawks – The CAF parachute demonstration team the SkyHawks put on a colourful display at QIAS 2016 and they also dropped Wing Commander Col. Colin Keiver into the show for the official opening ceremony Saturday morning. Colourful SkyHawks – The CAF parachute demonstration team the SkyHawks put on a colourful display at QIAS 2016 and they also dropped Wing Commander Col. Colin Keiver into the show for the official opening ceremony Saturday morning. Over the two-day event, organizers estimate close to 80,000 spectators teemed through the entrances to see some of the biggest and baddest, unique and oldest aircraft and to step inside displays. Visitors saw the F-22 Raptor put through its paces in the skies over the Bay of Quinte, the B-52 bomber was also a big attraction as was the CF-18 demo team and the highlight Snowbirds that closed out two days of action that also featured aircraft from the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) era. 8 Wing/Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton Commander Colonel Colin Keiver promised an impressive show and his team of 2,000-plus organizers and helpers did not disappoint. “The air show was amazing and it was all due to the men and women of 8 Wing,” Keiver said Monday morning. “The organizers who put it together and the 1,100 who worked in the heat made the difficult look easy and did so in a manner that has made me extremely proud of all of them. I received countless compliments on their professionalism. Clearly, this wing needs to do this again.” There have been hints the show will reoccur every two years now that it has been re-established, but each of those decisions will be made by another Wing Commander, although that commander’s team will employ many of the lessons learned from this year’s effort. Co-chairs Lieutenant-Colonel Kevin Tromp and Lt.-Col. Cathy Blue also deemed the show a major success thanks to the hard work of an exceptional team. “From the start, we realized that to be successful we would have to put together a team of people that were motivated, industrious and flexible enough to be able to solve issues effectively as they came up,” said Lt.-Col. Tromp after the show. “Our team worked for months on a detailed plan for the execution of the event and gathered information from many other airshow and event organizers across Canada in order to maximize our chances of success. “Despite the amount of planning that was done, our team was put to the test on Saturday morning when nearly 50,000 spectators pushed the limits of what the infrastructure of 8 Wing could support. The issues that cropped up were dealt with quickly, it was absolutely amazing to see the team taking the initiative to do whatever was necessary to make the experience more enjoyable for those attending,” he stated. Tromp also noted that support from the community was incredible given the short timeline involved in organizing and preparing this show. “QIAS 2016 was truly a combined effort and we are already planning for QIAS 2018 by putting together lessons learned from last weekend’s event and thereby ensuring that QIAS 2018 is even better,” he said. “Clearly this is something the local communities want and, with their continued support, we foresee a biannual event that will endure for years to come.” – Ross Less

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