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2024 AirFest is free to attend. Gates open at 8:00AM, flying starts around noon. Tampa’s newest aircraft will be on full display. Arrive early…Traffic will back up and gates will close. We have an amazing traffic plan, but at the end of each day expect the same delays as any other concert or sporting event.

1. Why do we have the AirFest?

The AirFest is one way we say “Thank you” to the surrounding communities for their continued support of the base and our personnel that allows us to execute our global air refueling mission.

2. MacDill AirFest 2024 will have a KC-46 on the ramp. What is the future of the KC-46 at MacDill?

That’s right, we will have a KC-46 on our ramp during AirFest. The KC-46 is the future of Tankers in America, and soon they will call Tampa Bay home. We want the community to come out and see MacDill’s future aircraft.

3. How will the arrival of the KC-46 affect upcoming air shows?

We will most likely be in the middle of major construction come 2026 to make room for our KC-46s. So, it may be quite a few years before we have another AirFest. This is your year to come and celebrate 77 years of aviation excellence with us.

4. How Much Do Tickets Cost?

Tampa Bay AirFest features free parking and free admission. This is our way of giving back to the Tampa Bay community. With a limited number of parking spots available, RVs and oversized vehicles (e.g. vehicles that can’t fit into a standard parking space) will not be allowed into AirFest. Premium Tickets can be purchased here (not affiliated with MacDill AFB)

5. Will there be a security screening before entering the base?

What can we expect at the security checkpoint? You won’t have to stop at the gate. We want everyone to come on MacDill, however we take security seriously at AirFest. We will have security as you walk through the AirFest gates. Please review our prohibited items list. You can find it here (#8) or on our website.

6. Are bikes allowed?

Guests may ride bicycles through Dale Mabry, MacDill, or Tanker Way gates. Helmets are REQUIRED for bike riders on MacDill Air Force Base; those without helmets will not be permitted to bring their bicycle on base. Bikes must be parked outside the flightline. Locks are recommended.

7. What can I bring?

  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Hearing Protection
  • Hats
  • Credit Cards/Mobile Payment/Cash (ATMs are available)
  • Empty plastic bottles to fill with chilled water
  • Folding chairs – backpack-type
  • Something for the kids to do/snacks for the ride home as there will be delays exiting the show.

8. What is prohibited on Base?

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security standards will be in-effect for entrants to Tampa Bay AirFest. Please take note of the prohibited items listed below. Prohibited items will be confiscated and/or cause visitors to be turned away at the gate. All visitors are subject to search by Security Forces personnel.

Prohibited Items

  • Limited parking spots are available. RVs/Oversized vehicles (e.g. vehicles that can’t fit into a standard parking space) will not be allowed.
  • Weapons of any kind including pocket knives, pocket tools, scissors, box cutters, billy clubs, large heavy chain link jewelry or belts, mace & pepper spray.
  • Firearms of any type
  • Toys that resemble firearms, laser pointers
  • RC aircraft & drones
  • Flammable items & Fireworks
  • Pets (except for service animals)
  • Spray paint & silly string
  • Outside food (except small snacks)
  • Coolers, grills, glass containers or bottles
  • Umbrellas
  • Liquid without factory seal intact (baby bottles are exempt)
  • Walkie-talkies, HAM radios, scanners
  • Alcohol & illegal drugs — Possession & use of Marijuana or CBD oil is illegal on MacDill Air Force Base or any federal installation. This includes both recreational & medicinal.
  • Bicycles, skateboards, scooters, heelies, roller skates or roller blades
  • Excessively large items & bags (exceptions are diaper bags, small purses, and small camera bags). Clear bags recommended.

9. Who can access the Bayshore Gate?

Only Mission Essential & Emergency Personnel, Base Residents, or invited guests/VIPs on the Base Access List are authorized entry through Bayshore Gate. All other DoD ID Cardholders should enter through Tanker Way, Dale Mabry & MacDill Gates.

10. What is the schedule for events?

We have a great line-up of static aircraft and aerial performers, including some of the best civilian pilots in the world, and demonstrations by the A-10s, C-17s, F-18s (Top Gun) and the Thunderbirds.

11. I have small children. Can I bring a stroller, diaper bag, or change of clothes?

Yes. Strollers and diaper bags are authorized and will be hand-searched at the security checkpoint. Please bring only necessary items. Consider hearing protection for small children. A diaper changing station is available near Hangar 2.

12. Can I bring my camera, video camera, or cell phone?

Yes. There are no security restrictions on these items. No large camera bags. Bring only necessary equipment and leave camera attachments at home. Everything is subject to search.

13. Can I bring food?

Small snacks are fine (not in glass containers). Ice chests or coolers are not authorized (except small coolers for medical supplies or infant formula purposes). Waist packs/backpacks are allowed but will be searched for alcohol or contraband. All items are subject to search/approval by security.

14. Will there be any food or souvenirs available?

Yes. There will be food, drinks, and souvenirs available for purchase.

15. Can I bring in containers to fill with chilled water?

Visitors may bring empty plastic refillable containers. Free chilled water will be available throughout the display area.

16. Can I bring animals to AirFest?

Service dogs are the only animals permitted into Tampa Bay AirFest. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person's disability. No other animals will be permitted, including emotional support animals. Emotional support animals have not been trained to adapt in the extremely loud and explosive nature of an airshow. If you choose to leave your animal in your car during AirFest, our Security Forces personnel will issue you a rather expensive ticket and break your vehicle window to ensure your animal is not exposed to high temperatures.

17. Will there be handicapped parking available?

There will be limited handicapped parking available on a first-come-first-served basis. Only vehicles with an official disabled person parking permit or license plate will be allowed to park in the designated handicapped parking area.

18. Can I leave and re-enter AirFest?

Yes. You may leave and re-enter as desired. Anyone re-entering will have to go through the security checkpoint again.

19. Is tailgating allowed?


20. Is smoking / vaping allowed?

Yes, only in designated areas and never near any aircraft. Possession and use of Marijuana or CBD oil is illegal on MacDill Air Force Base or any federal installation. This includes both recreational and medicinal.

21. Are alcoholic beverages allowed?

Alcoholic beverages may be purchased at AirFest. You may NOT bring alcoholic beverages into AirFest.

22. Do I need a military ID?

No, this event is open to the public.

23. Will restroom facilities be easily accessible?

Yes. Portable restrooms will be located throughout AirFest.

24. Can I take pictures or get autographs?

Yes. Many performers make themselves available for autographs and pictures.

25. Will it be necessary to have hearing protection?

Aircraft taking off, landing, and performing, can be extremely loud. Hearing protection is highly encouraged especially for children.

26. Which day will the Thunderbirds be performing?

The Thunderbirds will perform on both Friday & Saturday. View a tentative schedule at Tampabayairfest.com or here on the App.

27. Will there be shade?

Limited shade is available throughout the flight line through one of our larger static displays or in Hangar 2.

28. What happens if it rains?

In the event of rain, some flying demonstrations may be delayed. Unless the weather poses a serious threat to the safety of our visitors, the show will proceed as scheduled with modifications. In the event of a cancellation or delayed opening, announcements will be coordinated with local news and disseminated via Social Media channels.

29. Are umbrellas allowed at the air show?

Umbrellas are banned as they may block the view of spectators behind you or could be swept into the path of aircraft. We suggest wearing a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen for sun protection.

30. What type of medical services will be available?

First aid only will be provided such as oral hydration, treatment for minor cuts and bruises, and application of emergency medications (ex. Epi-pens). Medical personnel will stabilize and coordinate transportation to higher levels of care for all other injuries/illnesses.

31. Can I park my boat in the water off of MacDill and watch the show?

Yes. However, you may not enter the clearly marked MacDill Exclusion Zone surrounding MacDill AFB. You will receive a very expensive ticket (no warnings are given).

32. Can I use ride share services?

We discourage guests from using ride share services due to limited entry/exit points; however, ride share drop-off/pick-up is at Gandy Park and guests should enter/exit through the MacDill Gate. Due to personnel and logistics issues with the provider, mass transportation for Tampa Bay AirFest 2024 is not be authorized for AirFest weekend, March 29-30 (Fri/Sat). Personal transportation and carpooling are suggested.

For more information, call the MacDill Public Affairs office at, 813-828-2351

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