Wings Over Wairarapa Confirmed For February 2021
Covid-19 won’t be keeping the Wings Over Wairarapa air festival grounded with dates for the iconic event now locked in.
The event, one of New Zealand’s premier air shows and held every two years at Masterton’s Hood Aerodrome, will run from 26-28 February next year.
Wings General Manager, Jenny Gasson, says thanks to New Zealand’s ‘team of 5 million’ doing such a fantastic job fighting COVID-19 the organisation is now in a position to hold the 2021 event, albeit with some adjustments.
The uncertainty around borders and entry into New Zealand means that the 2021 festival will be focusing on the incredible range of aircraft available within New Zealand.
Wings’ audiences have previously seen aircraft from the very first aircraft, through to those flown during WW1 and WW11, and more recently the brand-new RNZAF display team. They’ve also had support from international air forces which they are planning on working with again for 2021.
“We are in an amazing position with the quality of the air display we can offer and the fact that Hood Aerodrome is home to the Vintage Aviator aircraft is something we feel very privileged to be able to highlight,” Ms Gasson says.
Wings will also be running the STEM Aviation and Education programme during the 2021 festival. So successful at 2019’s Air Festival that over 4500 Wairarapa children visited to the airfield to learn about potential aviation careers.
“This is an industry that is doing it tough at the moment but will bounce back in the future and will need to be planning ahead for people to begin aviation careers.”
The Wings team were winners of the 2019 Business Wairarapa Supreme Award, somewhat awarded for their “resilience in the face of adversity”.
Wings Community Trust Chair, Bob Francis, says Wings Over Wairarapa is used to facing difficulty with weather issues but the uncertainty around COVID-19 has thrown up some new challenges. "The team is able to be flexible and have looked at all the ways to produce an outstanding show which benefits the region by bringing visitors to the Wairarapa,” Mr Francis says.
Recent Wings Over Wairarapa festivals have attracted up to 25,000 people to the region. Destination Wairarapa general manager Anna Nielson says Wings is an iconic event that provides a huge economic boost to the region.
“It is a world class event and a wonderful opportunity to showcase all of Wairarapa. I think the 2021 festival will be even more significant for the region now with the push towards domestic tourism, so I anticipate that we will see similar crowds as before, if not even bigger,” Ms Nielson says.
Tickets for Wings will be on sale in July, please refer to the website – wings.org.nz or facebook/wingsoverwairarapa for further updates.