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Frequently Asked Questions

If the FAQ's do not answer your question and you would like help from one of our advisors, please get in touch using the contact form here.



Buying Tickets

Can I buy tickets on the day?

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Tickets for the Air Tattoo must be purchased in advance - no tickets will be available to purchase at the entry gates.

As we have an e-ticketing system, providing we haven't sold out you will be able to order your tickets via our website up until the day of the show. (However in 2016 we sold out of Saturday tickets 9 weeks before the event and Sunday 6 days before the event). 


Will I be able to see aircraft with an admission ticket?

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Yes, an admission ticket allows you access onto the showground where you can browse all the static displays, trade stands, exhibitions and many other activities. There are also viewing lawns where you can sit along the crowd line and view the flying displays. Visitors are welcome to bring blankets, fold away chairs, picnics etc, which can be left at the Drop Zone (left luggage) situated in the Blue Service Station.

What ticket discounts/concessions do you give?

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Under 16s attend FREE of charge with a ticket holding adult which means families of all sizes can enjoy the benefits of a very significant concession. 

Our parking also remains free of charge for ticket holders and is a concession that the majority can enjoy rather than a specific group. We also discount admission tickets for those not bring their car and attending by Shuttle Bus or Park & Ride.  

We also offer significant discounts (Super Early and Earlybird) for those that book tickets more than 7 weeks before the event.

As we are a military charity we offer a military discount to current serving personnel and veterans via the Official Defence Discounts Scheme which can be found HEREPlease login/register, search for the Royal International Air Tattoo, grab the promotional code and enter this in the promotional code box at the bottom of the first page of the ticket ordering process.

We offer a Carers/Personal Assistants concession - please see the appropriate section of the FAQ.

We believe these discounts are fair and enables us to still raise funds for our parent charity; the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust. 

How do I apply for charity tickets for my School/Club/Organisation?

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We have a very limited number of charity tickets for the Royal International Air Tattoo available to local groups, organisations and charities. To read the terms and conditions and apply for tickets please click HERE.

Do you have a family ticket?

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We do not need to have a 'family' ticket as children aged 15 years old and under are free of charge and we do not restrict the number of children per adult. When placing your order on our website please do not forget to order the relevant number of free child tickets.

Do children need a ticket for the Viewing Village/Pimms Flight Deck/Cotswold Club/ First Class Lounge?

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Children 4 years old and under do not require a ticket as long as they do not occupy a seat. Children aged 5 years and upwards require a ticket, but please note children under the age of 5 are not permitted in the Cotswold Club.

Why have I been charged an admin fee when I have printed off my tickets?

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The admin fee charged per booking is comparable with other ticket sellers. It pays for credit/debit card processing services, merchant fees, installation and maintenance of computer and scanning hardware and software, telephone lines, labour and all other costs associated with a ticket transaction.

Can I book to attend the Air Tattoo as part of a coach trip/group?

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Yes, you can. Many of our visitors are leaving their cars at home and taking the coach/group travel option.

If you bring at least 20 adults and travel in one vehicle you will receive a coach operators discount . If you want to book at least 20 tickets but travel in separate vehicles we can still offer a discount.

Coach/Group Travel organisers please see HERE or email dmr@rafcte.com

Is the payment process secure?

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We process payments using Sage Pay. See their explanation of browser security, and what to look for, here: www.sagepay.co.uk/support/32/are-my-card-details-secure 
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Tickets General

When will I receive my Air Tattoo ticket?

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When you order online at airtattoo.com you can print your e-ticket or show it on your mobile device at the entry point. If you have purchased enclosure tickets, you need to print off/show your admission ticket in the same way and the wristband, swing tag or lanyard pass, which gives you entry to the actual enclosure, will be posted to you with an information pack prior to the event.

Why haven't I received my e-tickets/ I have deleted the email with the link to my e-tickets?

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When you placed your order you should have received an email with a link to the pdf of your e-tickets for you to print out.

If you did not receive this email (this may be because your email address was incorrect) or have deleted it in error you may download your eTickets by accessing your order on the website.

  • Login HERE with the email address and password you used to place the order.
  • Click on Completed Orders
  • Click on the relevant order reference.
  • Click on Download your e-ticket

Does it matter what name is printed on the tickets?

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The name on the ticket is for administration purposes and is the purchaser. Each e-ticket has a unique barcode which will be scanned at the entry gates to the showground. This scanning process then invalidates multiple uses of the same barcode.

I can no longer attend. Can I return my tickets for a refund?

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All admission tickets/enclosures are sold on a non-refundable basis. However, should there be extenuating circumstances for requesting a refund (such as a bereavement or medical emergency) we ask that you return your tickets by post along with an explanation and we shall consider your request after the event.

Please post to: Customer Services, RIAT 2017, PO Box 1940, Fairford, Glos GL7 4NA

Please be aware all tickets are barcoded and prior to any credits being made each ticket will be checked to ensure it has not been used for entry to the Air Tattoo.

Can I change my tickets for a different day?

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No, as with other similar events, all Air Tattoo tickets are sold as non-refundable and non-transferable.  

How many FREE under 16s can I bring with me on a standard admission ticket?

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We do not restrict the number of children per ticket holding adult. However, when ordering via our website, please request free-of-charge children's passes. This is so we can keep a track of the number of young people we have attending each year. If you require additional children's passes you should login to your account HERE and add to your order.

I need (additional) FREE child passes?

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If you have already ordered visit our website, login to your account and add the correct number of child passes to your basket.

Alternatively, and if you have won/been given tickets and require FREE child passes please just come to the entry point and any children under 16 arriving without a child pass will have a generic barcode scanned and will then be allowed access to the showground. 

My Child is 15 will I be asked for ID?

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You may be asked for ID/proof of age so bring some with you just in case.

I have booked a Viewing Village Grandstand seat but no number for my seat?

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Seats are allocated on arrival at the Viewing Village Grandstand so it is best to arrive early. Once allocated these are your seats for the day.

What will you do if someone turns up over the weekend without a ticket?

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People turning up at the entry gates without a ticket will be turned away.

Will the Air Tattoo be cancelled if there is a continuous period of rainfall before the show?

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Following the unfortunate need to cancel the 2008 Air Tattoo when the United Kingdom suffered a continuous period of rainfall over the preceding months, significant work was undertaken to make the showground and car parking arrangements for subsequent events at Fairford resilient in the face of such conditions. Had these been in place in 2008 the Air Tattoo would have taken place. These arrangements remain for all Air Tattoos staged at RAF Fairford.

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Disabled Facilities

Is there a concession for Personal Assistants/Carers?

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Yes - All disabled visitors attending the Air Tattoo on a paid for adult admission ticket on Friday 14, Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 July are entitled to bring one PA/Carer free of charge. The PA/Carer concessionary ticket must be requested when placing your order.

Children (aged 15 years and under) with a disability must be accompanied by an adult paying the full retail rate, as with all child tickets for the venue.

Please note there are no PA/Carer concessions available for Park & View on Wednesday 12, Thursday 13 or Monday 17 July or for any of the public enclosures on the showground.

To book please call our Customer Services Department on 01285 713 456 (Mon-Fri 8.30am-5.30pm)

Is there a viewing area specifically for disabled visitors?

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Yes - there is a Disabled Enclosure located on the crowdline in the Blue Zone of the showground. Tickets for the Enclosure must be purchased in advance and cost £6.00 each for the disabled person and their PA/Carer. If extra tickets are required for the Enclosure there is a cost of £18.00 per person (aged 5 years and over) up to a maximum of four tickets.

Features include:
  • An outside enclosure (no shelter) on hardstanding
  • Crowdline position in the centre of the showground
  • Disabled Toilets (including a high dependency unit)
  • Tables and chairs
  • Enclosure wristband to enable access throughout the day
  • Team of volunteers to answer questions and help you enjoy your day

There is a Showground Shuttle Bus Stop (Bus Stop 3) within a 5 minute (approx) walk from the Enclosure. There will also be golf buggies available to transfer people with mobility difficulties from the Bus Stop to the Disabled Enclosure.

To book please call our Customer Services Department on 01285 713 456 (Mon-Fri 8.30am-5.30pm)

How far is the Disabled Enclosure from the Customer Entry Points to the showground?

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The Disabled Enclosure is located approximately 30 minutes by foot from the Yellow Customer Entry Point, approximately 20 minutes by foot from the Red Customer Entry Point, approximately 5 minutes from the Blue Customer Entry Point and approximately 10 minutes from the Green Customer Entry Point. The Customer Entry Point is where tickets are checked and access is gained to the showground from the car parks.

There is a Showground Shuttle Bus Stop (Bus Stop 3) within a 5 minute (approx) walk from the Enclosure. There will also be golf buggies available to transfer people with mobility difficulties from the Bus Stop to the Disabled Enclosure.

Is there a disabled car park?

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Yes - Disabled visitors who have a Blue Badge/mobility impairment can apply for a RIAT Disabled Parking Permit which will allow them to park in the designated disabled car parks. 

On Friday 14, Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 July disabled visitors who have a RIAT Disabled Parking Permit can park in the Red or Green Designated Disabled Car Parks. However, if you have hired a mobility scooter or wheelchair from Event Mobility the only pick up/drop off point on Friday 14 July will be in the Red Car Park by the Customer Entry Point, so we recommend that you park in the Red Designated Disabled Car Park.

There is no Designated Disabled Car Park in the Blue Car Parks and we recommend that disabled visitors do not park here as they are all field car parks and are some distance from the Blue Customer Entry Point. It is recommended that disabled visitors travelling in on the Blue route follow the route variation to the Red Designated Disabled Car Park.

The closing date to apply for a RIAT Disabled Parking Permit is Friday 7 July. To book please call our Customer Services Department on 01285 713 456 (Mon-Fri 8.30am-5.30pm) 


Disabled visitors arriving by car and displaying a Blue Badge but NO RIAT Disabled Parking Permit will be directed to the front of each public car park where a designated parking space will be available, however this could be on rough terrain (grass) and some distance from the entry points to the showground.

Can I hire a mobility scooter or wheelchair?

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Yes - a supplier will be providing electric scooters and manual wheelchairs for the use of the disabled, elderly and mobility impaired visitors to the Air Tattoo. Details will be confirmed as soon as possible.

Can I bring my own mobility scooter?

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Yes - but please ensure that the battery is fully charged before your arrival as there are no facilities available to recharge them should they go flat. 

We also recommend that you bring a puncture repair kit/pump in case of a flat tyre.

Are there disabled/accessible toilets on the showground?

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Yes, there are disabled/accessible toilets in each toilet block on the showground. There are also disabled/accessible toilets and a High Dependency Unit (HDU) in the Disabled Enclosure. If you haven't booked a place in the Enclosure but need to use HDU at any time during your visit to the Air Tattoo, please speak to the staff in the Disabled Enclosure. If you have your own RADAR key please bring it with you.

Is there a High Dependency Unit (HDU) on the showground?

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Yes, there is an High Dependency Unit (HDU) in the Disabled Enclosure. If you haven't booked a place in the Enclosure but need to use HDU at any time during your visit to the Air Tattoo, please speak to the staff in the Disabled Enclosure. If you have your own RADAR key please bring it with you.

Is the showground suitable for wheelchairs and mobility scooters?

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There is a large amount of hardstanding along the Showground where the static aircraft are parked however there is also a grassed area from the hardstanding to the crowdline which can be uneven in places and not always practical for wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
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Travel and Accommodation

Where can I find camping in the nearby area?

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There are a number of campsites in the area. Details are available from our accommodation/local area page of the website as detailed above.

I do not drive and/or do not have a car, how else can I travel to the show?

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We offer a Shuttle Bus service from Swindon Bus Station and a Park & Ride from Cheltenham Racecourse, details of these can be found here.

Full details on how to get to the Air Tattoo can be found here.

Where can I find accommodation nearby?

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Local accommodation tends to be booked well in advance of the event and it is therefore best to book early. To find nearby accommodation please see our accommodation/local area page in the 'planning your visit' section of the website.

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Opening Times

What time does the show start/finish?

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Friday 14 July, the showground is open from 7.30am until 6.30pm with a flying display from 11am until 3pm. 

Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 July, the showground is open 7.30am until 7.30pm with a flying display from 10am until 5.30pm.

What time is Park and View open?

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Wednesday 12 July: 7.30am - 7.30pm. 

Thursday 13 July: 7.30am - 7.30pm. 

Monday 17 July: 7.30am - 4.30pm.

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Parking

Is there parking on concrete for motorbikes and is there somewhere I can leave my crash helmet?

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The parking depends on which route you come from and the car park you are directed to. Red and Green have hard standing but Blue is all on grass.  You can leave crash helmets/leathers etc. in our free of charge Drop Zone (left luggage) which is situated in the Blue Service Station. 

What is the postcode for Sat Nav purposes?

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GL7 4EG will get you close to the event but once you pick up the colour coded AA road signs you should follow the signs and not the Sat Nav.

Can I get back to my car during the day?

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You can have re-admittance to the showground up until 5pm. Please check with the gate team before leaving the showground and they will give you more information and a hand stamp for re-entry.

Can I bring my bicycle in to the showground?

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No, for security reasons bicycles must be left in the car parks where they can be secured to the fencing provided.

Is parking on hard standing (concrete) or grass?

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Both, it depends on which car park you are directed into but it can't be guaranteed which you will be in for security reasons. Blue Car Park is all on grass whilst Red and Green Car Parks are mainly on hard standing with a few grass areas. The car park you are directed to depends on the route/location you travel to the show from.

What time do the car parks open?

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The car parks are open from 6am on Friday 14, Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 July 2017.

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Aircraft

What aircraft will be at the 2017 Air Tattoo?

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Aircraft are only added to our participation list when we have written confirmation of their attendance. We start updating this in the new year. You can view aircraft confirmed on the aircraft participation page. This is updated regularly once we have started to receive confirmations. 

What's the difference in the show days?

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Where ever possible we try to ensure the 7-8 hour flying display for both Saturday and Sunday is the same (albeit in a different order). However situations do arise when display acts tell us they can only perform on one day because of other commitments. Friday 14 July will again feature a 4 hour flying display.

Similar situations may arise when planning some of the Air Tattoo's trademark unique flypasts when operational constraints might only enable us to organise a once-only set piece.

We recognise that some visitors may be disappointed, it is our view that one day is better than no days. The Air Tattoo is grateful to all participants for taking part in the Air Tattoo and, on the rare occasions they can only perform a single display,  we believe our visitors would prefer one display/flypast rather than none.

What is the policy for inviting countries and their air arms?

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We work with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) to agree the list of countries we wish to invite - and it's a long one! We write to the Chief of each air arm, inviting him/her and their aircraft to the Air Tattoo. We also send a copy of the invitation to their attachés at their Embassies in London and have a programme of visiting these in the Autumn prior to the following years' show. Finally, we follow up with letters to individual squadrons and tasking offices in each country.

How often is the aircraft participation list updated?

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Once we start receiving aircraft confirmations, usually a few months prior to the event,  the aircraft participation list will be updated weekly, on a Thursday at midday. There is more about the release of aircraft information in the FAQ above.

How is it decided if an aircraft will be in the flying display or the static park?

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We request specific aircraft types for both the flying and static displays and if we get a favourable response, the operator generally decides whether they will fly or be part of the static display. As you would expect we work pretty hard, to entice the 'very special' aircraft to fly, but cannot always guarantee success.

How do air arms determine if they will attend the Air Tattoo?

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The general rule is that Operations and Training come first - if there are flying hours and a budget available, then they may choose to use them for airshows. Most air forces will have a tasking office that collates all requests and then allocate aircraft to the shows that offer most value/benefit to them. These decisions are usually made between January and April, which is why some aircraft are confirmed later than others. And although it may be tempting, it is counterproductive for any individual to try and circumvent this system and contact them directly - these offices do not take kindly to it, so please be patient.

When is the running order for the flying display put together?

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The flying display running order planning starts in May but will change weekly due to the additions, cancellations and the changing requirements of participants. It is not properly finalised until the week of the show and even then it can change, for technical, weather and/or pilot health reasons.

What is the policy on rescheduling flying acts in the event of disruption to the planned flying schedule?

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Our policy is not to reschedule. If the weather or an incident affects any part of the flying display programme, then unfortunately, those scheduled to fly during the period in question will lose their slots. We believe this is the fairest policy to all the crews who have generously travelled from all around the world to take part in the Air Tattoo.

Why do aircraft not use their flares in their display at the Air Tattoo?

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Sadly, given the configuration of RAF Fairford during RIAT, we have not been able to identify any location for parking armed aircraft that will satisfy the stringent MOD regulations covering explosive materials. This is not for the lack of trying!

Why do aircraft on the participation list sometimes cancel?

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There are numerous reasons why aircraft cancel, but operational commitments, higher priority tasking, technical issues and budget restrictions are the most frequent. When we receive notification of a cancellation we always go back to the operator to see if there is anything we can do to reverse the decision. Please be assured that we don't just take no for an answer!

If an aircraft cancels, does this free up money for another aircraft to be brought in?

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Generally no, as the majority of military participants attend at their own expense, knowing the charitable purpose of our parent - the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust. However, in exceptional circumstances where we are contributing financially, then we do look to source a replacement. Of course, the closer to the show it is, the more difficult this becomes, but we never stop trying and in the past, deals have been struck with only two days to go - for both military and civilian aircraft!

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At the Show

I have lost something at the show who do I contact?

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During the show lost property will be handed to the Police Station located in the centre of the showground. After the event unclaimed lost property will be forwarded to Stroud Police Station, phone number: 01452 753 501.

If I lose my child, what is the quickest way to inform someone and locate them?

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The information point at the Blue Service Station deals with lost and found children, please make your way there and/or inform a member of the Air Tattoo CREW. Please ensure any children you bring to the show to wear a child safety wristband, available from any entrance gate or information point.

Where can I purchase a Souvenir Programme?

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Packed full with lots of helpful information and features, the Souvenir Programme is available at the entrance gates, Information Points and official outlets around the showground.

You can also buy your Souvenir Programme in advance (saving £2) as a click and collect option; you will be emailed a voucher to enable you to collect your copy on arrival at the show. Full details can be found here.

Can I bring my own food/picnic/foldaway chairs etc.?

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Yes, you are welcome to bring your own food and drink although mobile catering is also provided on the showground. You may bring fold away chairs or picnic blankets to sit on and can leave these and picnic/coolboxes in the free of charge Drop Zone (left luggage) at the Blue Service Station.

Can I have a barbeque on the airfield?

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No, these are not allowed on the airfield, showground or the car parks.

Can I bring my dog/any animals with me?

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Unfortunately dogs or any other animals are not permitted entry to the showground or Air Tattoo car parks. This is not only for health and safety reasons, but the vast majority of aircraft at the Air Tattoo are extremely noisy and very likely to cause distress to any animal. Please also note Police patrol the car parks and will take action if an animal has been left in a car.

Where will I find food to purchase?

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A full range of catering units will be located at the three Service Stations and the Vintage Village. If you have specific dietary requirements we suggest you bring food with you as we cannot guarantee you will find exactly what you need on the showground. 

We also provide free water with a number of water bowsers located at each Service Station and around the showground.

I am bringing my baby/young child to the Air Tattoo, do you hire or sell ear defenders?

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Many babies/young children attend the Air Tattoo however we recommend ear defenders for babies/young children as the majority of aircraft displaying are extremely loud. There are many supplier of ear defenders for babies and small children and these can be ordered on the internet. We do not hire ear defenders. The Air Tattoo merchandise units sell ear defenders, however they may not be suitable for babies and very young children. 

Is there anywhere to safely leave any heavy items or shopping whilst at the show?

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We provide a free Drop Zone facility that will allow you to make the most of your day by leaving shopping, picnics and any other heavy items in a secure location. The Drop Zone can be found in the centre of the Showground at the Blue Service Station.

Is there free WiFi at the Air Tattoo?

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Yes there is. You can access free WiFi at our three Service Stations, as well as in the Techno Zone and Vintage Village.

Where are there Information Points on the showground?

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The main Information Point is located in the centre of the showground at the Blue Service Station; you can also find two further additional Information Points in the Green and Red Service Stations.

The Air Tattoo Crew are also roving around to help you enjoy your day and have a wealth of information. They are easy to spot on the showground in their turquoise uniforms and large foam aircraft hands!

Are there cash machines/ATMs on the showground?

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Cashpoints/ATM Machines will be available at each of the three Service Stations, as well as in the Vintage Village. These locations will be marked on the showground map. A small fee is charged for the this service.

Where will I find toilets at the show?

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Toilets can be found in numerous places; near each Service Station, in the Vintage Village and beside the Customer Entry Points in the Car Parks. If you have booked an Enclosure you will have access to private toilets. We ensure we have plenty of facilities placed throughout the showground that are easy to find; providing more than the recommended ratio of people to toilets.

Can I bring a tent/gazebo/windbreak/ladder onto the showground?

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Yes, providing you do not put it within 10m of the crowdline so that it doesn't obstruct the view of other visitors.

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Park and View

Where are the Park & View enclosures?

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There are two Park & View Enclosures, one situated at the East and one at the West end of the airfield. Both locations are signposted by yellow AA signs on the roads leading to the airfield. In the main, aircraft land and depart from the East end of the runway but this is dependent on the prevailing wind direction.

What time do the Park & View enclosures open?

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Wednesday 12 July: 7.30am - 7.30pm.

Thursday 13 July: 7.30am - 7.30pm. 

Monday 17 July: 7.30am - 4.30pm.

What can I see at Park & View?

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Aircraft arrivals and departures, plus a number of aircraft will rehearse their display routines during the days before the show. Due to operation reason beyond our control a small number of aircraft may arrive or depart prior to or after the Park & View days.

How can I find out which aircraft are arriving / departing / rehearsing?

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A daily flying programme is available for purchase in the enclosures each day. These are prepared the night before and contain the times and details of aircraft movements for that day and are as accurate as possible however they maybe subject to change due to operations commitments, weather etc.

Where can I buy a ticket for Park & View?

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Tickets can be bought in advance on our website or on the day at either Park & View enclosure. Children under 16 are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.

Your ticket will allow you to move between Park and View East and West as you please during that day, but please note that no transport is provided between the locations.

Does a FRIAT membership include Park & View admission?

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FRIAT MACH-3 membership includes free admission to Park & View on Wednesday, Thursday and Monday. FRIAT MACH-2 membership includes free admission to Park & View on Monday. FRIAT MACH-1 members will need to purchase Park & View enclosure tickets separately as this is not included in the membership package.

Can I walk to the Park & View enclosures?

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Yes, but you cannot walk between the two enclosure locations within the airfield as they are at either end of the runway so several miles apart.

Are there toilet facilities in Park & View?

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Yes, at both sites.

Is parking available at Park & View?

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At both sites, from 6am each day, free of charge parking is on the airfield, on hard-standing for ticket holders in the Park and View enclosures. You are not permitted to view from within the car park if you do not have a ticket.

Cars can not be left overnight in the car parks.

Bicycles (but not motorbikes) can be locked to the fencing (inside the airfield), near to the main entrance gates at the owners own risk.

Are there dedicated disabled facilities at Park & View?

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The Park & View East enclosure has a limited disabled parking area, on a strictly first come, first served basis. Please display your blue badge at the gate, where you will be directed accordingly. There is also a designated section on hard standing for wheelchair users within the enclosure.

The Park and View West enclosure has plenty of parking close to the enclosure for disabled use. There are disabled toilet facilities in both locations. Wheelchair users should note that both enclosures are mainly grassed over areas with uneven surfaces.

Are there traders and catering in Park and View?

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Catering is available at both Park and View sites, whilst Official Air Tattoo souvenirs are available at Park and View East only. Official Souvenir Programmes are available to purchase at both sites.

Can I bring my dog to Park & View?

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Unfortunately dogs are not permitted entry to the Park & View enclosures or car parks. This is not only for health and safety reasons, but the vast majority of aircraft at the Air Tattoo are extremely noisy and very likely to cause distress to dogs, due to their acute hearing sensitivity. Please also note Police patrol the car parks and will take action if an animal has been left in a car.

Can I use a stepladder in Park & View?

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The Park & View East enclosure has a dedicated stepladder area. Stepladders may only be used in this area. There is no stepladder restriction in the Park & View West enclosure.

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“It was an epic spectacle, as magical as anything you've ever seen in the West End, and as loud as anything you've ever heard at Knebworth.”

Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air!”

Jenson Button, Formula 1 Racing Driver

“This is the best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

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