On the second and last day of Airpower, one of the largest air shows in Europe, the influx of visitors is enormous. Patience is required, there are many traffic jams – according to traffic reports, waiting times of up to three hours were to be expected. At 1.30 p.m. the journey is still in progress – the police are asking you not to come to Zeltweg anymore. In two hours the departure starts again. According to official information, 150,000 visitors made it to the event site. 200 civil and military aircraft from 20 nations can be seen. Here we will inform you all day about the spectacle on the ground, in the air and behind the scenes.
The exact flight program can be found here. Real aircraft fans can look forward to a rare visit: Two US Air Force B-52s will fly over Airpower on Saturday. Scheduled time is 3 p.m.
Police comment on arrival problems
Even just before 2 p.m., fans are still traveling to Airpower. In social media you can read about a four-hour waiting time in front of the parking lot – the anger is correspondingly great, many have already turned around again. The police asks all visitors not to come to the Murtal anymore. “As expected, we have 50 percent more traffic today than yesterday,” explains police spokesman Markus Lamb. “The organizer’s concept provides for half the parking space. There are no more parking spaces, we cannot create any more parking spaces.” The reason for the traffic jams is congestion. At the suggestion of the police, the ticket category system was abolished on Saturday. “Yesterday that was a problem. Many came from the completely wrong direction and then asked our traffic posts where they had to go. These are all small things, but it adds up.”
Organizers take stock
The organizers of the Airpower drew a “preliminary balance sheet” at 1 p.m. 150,000 visitors came on Saturday, with the 125,000 on Saturday the total is 275,000. This is not an estimate, these numbers were collected using counting devices at the entrances, it said when asked. And: “There were never more than these 150,000 people on the site”. Not counted are “several tens of thousands” who followed the flight demonstrations on the meadows and hills outside – possibly also forced. They did not want to comment on the arrival problems, the traffic management is a matter for the police. According to project manager Wolfgang Prieler, the traffic concept worked well according to an initial forecast. However, this will be finally evaluated in the sustainability report on Airpower.
Police advise: don’t come anymore!
The Styrian police advises late-determiners not to set off in the direction of Airpower now. “It’s pretty crowded here now.” According to the organizers, the maximum spectator capacity of 150,000 visitors was reached. According to official information, a total of 275,000 spectators came to Airpower on both days.
Flying Bulls tell about Aerobatic Triple
Among the audience’s favorites are the Flying Bulls, who celebrated a world premiere on Friday with the “Aerobatic Triple”. What is the most difficult thing about the precisely choreographed interplay of airplanes, helicopters, wingsuit and parachutists? “Timing is extremely important,” explains base jumper Marco Waltenspiel. “There isn’t a second where nothing happens.” Aerobatics pilot Dario Costa also emphasizes how dangerous the maneuver is: “Each of us has a different speed and different flight behavior. You have to learn how the others fly. If you make a mistake, it affects everyone else.” Like his colleagues, Mirko Flaim, who flies the only aerobatic helicopter in the world, raves about the atmosphere in Zeltweg. There are many performances, you can rarely look at such an audience.
President interested in new helicopter
In 2016 he was still a “normal guest” on the Airpower, today as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, said Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen in response to journalists’ questions. “That’s the nice thing about my job, that I have the opportunity to fly the Black Hawk once or twice a year,” said the campaigning incumbent about the choice of mode of transport. However, he was particularly interested in the army’s future helicopter, Leonardo’s AW-169. Before he had it shown to him, he stopped by the army pilot training course.
Arrival update: trouble for fans
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today there will be flights in Zeltweg – at just before 1 p.m. some fans are still stuck in traffic. Complaints from visitors are piling up on social media. “It’s never been that bad with Airpower, we turn around after three hours in a traffic jam,” read about Facebook. Others write: “We’ve been standing in front of the Park & Ride in Fisching for an hour, nothing works. We’re missing everything.” Coming on the road towards Obdach, some fans have left their cars at the roundabout and are now walking the long way to Zeltweg.
A climate-friendly greeting from heaven
A frequently photographed motif in the sky above Zeltweg was a written greeting on Saturday morning: “Welcome to Airpower22” could be read perfectly against the blue sky. Behind it is a German company. “Skytexter” was used for the first time in Austria: “We’ve been around since 2020. Five aerobatic planes fly at a height of three kilometers,” explains David Schimm. The letters and symbols are approximately 200 by 200 meters in size and are made of paraffin oil. “It’s environmentally friendly. There are no residues in the air. In addition, we completely offset our CO2 emissions,” says pilot Tim Tibo.
Van der Bellen has landed
Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen arrived in Zeltweg around 11 a.m. and landed in the Blackhawk. He was welcomed, among others, by Minister Klaudia Tanner, Economics Minister Barbara Eibinger-Miedl and the President of the Styrian Parliament, Manuela Khom. Shortly after arriving, the presidential candidate took a dip in the crowd and patiently posed for selfies.
Traffic jam from Carinthia
Getting there is currently problematic (11 a.m.), especially from the direction of Carinthia: from Obdach to Weißkirchen, a loss of around two hours is to be expected. On the S36, it builds up between Kobenz and Spielberg (coming from St. Michael), as well as between Zeltweg and Fohnsdorf (coming from Klagenfurt). There are also waiting times when accessing the car parks. Bring patience!
Will Austria get new training jets?
At the last Airpower 2019 you could still see the Saab 105 of the federal army in action. The jet trainer is now retired and no replacement has been found. That could change if the army gets more money again, the designated chief of staff Rudolf Striedinger told us in a detailed interview.
Expressway becomes grandstand
According to the Ö3 traffic service, the journey to Airpower can currently take up to two hours longer from all directions because there is also traffic jams in front of the St. Michael node and the Deutschfeistritz node. On the S 36 from the direction of Klagenfurt, some have already left their cars in the convoy and watch the air show from there – sometimes even from camping chairs.
It’s getting crowded
At the opening at 9 a.m., which was again carried out by Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner, the Airpower site was already much more crowded than the day before. Many visitors have followed the advice of arriving early. You can expect a bright blue sky with still slightly fresh temperatures. The first round of applause erupts when nine Alouette III helicopters from the federal army fly in with the federal state flags to present themselves for the symphony “Vibes in the sky”.
Important information for everyone coming by car
The police passed on important information from the organizer via Twitter today: In order to relieve traffic, visitors are guided directly to the next free parking space via the traffic control system – the category on the parking ticket is no longer decisive!
Traffic jams upon arrival
As expected, there have been traffic jams on arrival since the early hours of the morning. The S 36 expressway from the direction of Klagenfurt is currently particularly affected, where it backs up to the “Arena am Waldfeld” shopping center in Fohnsdorf. Longer delays are also to be expected at the car park entrances – allow at least an hour more. It is difficult to dodge, since many side roads in the Murtal are already blocked as well.
As a result of Airpower, there are also traffic jams at the St. Michael junction, around Weißkirchen (B77/B78), at the access road to Fisching, where there is a Park&Ride car park, in St. Peter ob Judenburg, at the construction site near Übelbach and on arrival over the Triebener Tauern. Loss of time about 30 minutes each.
Already an hour and a half before the start of the program, many visitors were already at the site, which felt significantly more than the day before. 125,000 fans visited Airpower on Friday.
You can also get a foretaste of the second Airpower day in our live ticker from Friday.
Airpower posted a short video from Friday: