Tips for a great day at the Hamilton Air Show

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The Hamilton Air Show takes place on Father’s Day weekend, June 18th and 19th, 2011 at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum at John C. Munro, Hamilton International Airport (CYHM).

I’ve written about the show before and provided links to the air show site for all official information. This post is intended to give you a checklist of things to do before, during and after the air show to help you enjoy your day. This post is by no means meant to be all inclusive so please consider the suggestions below as just that: suggestions. Hope to see you at the air show!

Before you leave

  • Check the weather forecast for Hamilton for the day. This will give you an idea of what to expect and what you should wear.
  • Put on sunscreen and bring a hat. You’ll be out and about all day. Even if it may not seem like it (depending on the weather), it is summer and chances are you will burn. Large umbrellas are not allowed.
  • I am partial to closed toe, closed heel shoes, but it will be summer and most likely hot. You will be walking among large machines made almost entirely out of metal so exercise your judgement on this one.
  • Pack something to sit on be it a blanket, chairs, etc. The display portion of the air show lasts about two hours and you want to be comfortable.
  • Charge your camera’s batteries / pack extra batteries.
  • Bring one bottle of water for each person in your party, you’ll be able to buy more at the show.
  • Do not plan on bringing a cooler. Large coolers are not allowed.
  • Everyone in your party should have sufficient cash on hand for the day. There will be ATMs at the air show but save yourself the exorbitant fees and take cash out from your own bank. Admission at the gate is cash only.
  • You can expect prices of food and drinks to be akin to those found at summer festivals. Use the following as guidelines for how much cash to bring, per person:
    • Admission: max. $25
    • Food / water purchases: $35
    • Souvenirs: $40 – $80

Getting to the airport

  • Gates open to the public at 9 AM which I take to mean the first shuttle of people will be allowed in then.
  • Parking is FREE and located 3 KM away with a free shuttle to the airport.
From Toronto:
  • Take 403 West towards Hamilton/Brantford
  • Take exit 61, 6 SOUTH, Garner Road, Caledonia/Port Dover
  • Keep 6 SOUTH, Caledonia/Port Dover until you start seeing sings for airport parking
From London / Brantford:
  • Take 403 East towards Hamilton.
  • Take exit 61, 6 SOUTH, Garner Road, Caledonia/Port Dover.
  • Keep 6 SOUTH, Caledonia/Port Dover until you start seeing sings for airport parking.
From St. Catharines / Niagara Falls:

The Lincoln Alexander Parkway (the Linc) is being repaved on weekends but according to The Spectator it will be open on the weekend of the airshow.

  • Take the QEW Toronto.
  • Take exit 88/89 Centennial Parkway / Red Hill Valley Parkway.
  • Stay in the right lanes to the Red Hill Valley Parkway.
  • The Red Hill Valley Parkway becomes the Lincoln Alexander Parkway.
  • Take the Lincoln Alexander Parkway to 403 West, Brantford.
  • Take exit 61, 6 SOUTH, Garner Road, Caledonia/Port Dover.
  • Keep 6 SOUTH, Caledonia/Port Dover until you start seeing sings for airport parking.

An alternate route is to take the QEW Toronto to the 403 West and follow the instructions above.

From Hamilton:
  • The HSR will be running the A Line shuttle from Downtown Hamilton to the airport. See this page for information on route and stops.

At the airport

“2011 Hamilton Air Show Map”

  • Visit the flying aircraft first, then the static displays.
  • Make note of the location of
  • The air show begins at 2 PM and the flying aircraft parking closes to the public at 1 PM. Static aircraft will be available to visit during the show.
  • Find a spot to sit by the flight line early, maybe starting at 12 PM because once the flying aircraft are closed to the public there will be a rush of people trying to find a good spot. If you want to see aircraft taxi as well as take off / land sit on the left (south) side of the taxi way.
  • Have fun, take lots of pictures and enjoy the aircraft!

The air show website has some tips and suggestions as well. If you have anything to add, feel free to leave them in the comments below.