Festival of Flight Travel Advice
Plane Sailing at B/E Aerospace Festival Of Flight
It is one of the biggest days of the year, with almost 100,000 people expected to sweep into Newcastle and the surrounding area to enjoy the aerial drama of the B/E Aerospace Festival of Flight on Saturday 6 August. To make plane spotting adventures pain free, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has offered the following advice to travellers.
Getting there early is key to having a relaxed day of high flying fun. Early birds will not only have the pick of the car parking, they’ll also have time to enjoy a full programme of aviation-themed events and attractions, most which are free pleasing budget-conscious families.
The weekend will be extra-busy right across the region and, while that is great news for flight fans and for the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors, some traffic disruption is inevitable. Be sure to allow extra time for your journey or consider taking an alternative route.
All traffic enforcement laws will be in place as usual so be aware of where you can and can’t park and do not expect to get away with any cheeky manoeuvres just because everyone is in holiday mood.
Be aware that Castle Park in the centre of Newcastle will be closed to motorists from early Friday 5 until late on Saturday 6 August as the area is temporarily transformed into an Aviation Village.
On air show day, Saturday 6 August, public parking will be available at Higher Donard Park, Donard Park; Bryansford Avenue and Bryansford Road, Causeway Road; Downs Road car park; Harbour car park; Main Street, Railway Street and Shimna Road, with disabled parking concentrated at Newcastle Visitor Information Centre, Glen River car park and within a dedicated section at Donard car park. Motor home parking will also be at Higher Donard car park.
There is free Park and Walk from Dundrum Road in Newcastle, open from 9am to 9pm, just follow the directional signs on the approach to town.
Translink will be providing free Park and Ride from the Northfield site on the A50 Castlewellan Road, again, just follow the AA signs on approach. Translink shuttle buses will operate from 9am to 9pm. For anyone who wants to leave the car behind, there is also a range of great value Translink summer travel tickets available. Visit www.translink.co.uk/festivalofflight/ to plan your hassle-free journey to and from Newcastle.
Event programmes are widely available and full event information can also be accessed on visitmournemountains.co.uk. B/E Festival of Flight media partner, U105, will also be keeping spectators up to date with what’s hot and happening as Frank Mitchell brings his ‘Morning Show’ and Johnny Hero hosts ‘Afternoon Drive’ live from the U105 studio at the Newcastle Centre on Central Promenade. The pair will have updates, interviews, competitions and giveaways to add to the fun. On the big day itself, Saturday 6 August, Frank will be joined by local personality, Pamela Ballantine to keep the party going as the excitement and the aircraft start to soar.
While Newcastle town centre will undoubtedly be the hub of the action, there are also superb viewing points right around the natural amphitheatre of Dundrum Bay, perfect for relaxed plane-spotters to kick back and chill while the aircraft spectacular roars and zooms overhead.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Gillian Fitzpatrick said, “I would encourage locals and visitors to arrive early and stay late to make the most of this summer highlight event. The B/E Aerospace Festival of Flight brings an amazing buzz and electric energy to the whole region. I am looking forward to the big day as eagerly as any youngster. I plan to be right at the heart of the fun with my family and Council colleagues, sharing in the excitement and also enjoying the traditional seaside atmosphere which is synonymous with Newcastle. This Summer there is simply no better place to be than Newry, Mourne and Down.”
Translink’s Kay Sharkey said, “We are pleased to join forces with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council to provide a free shuttle bus service for easy access to and from the town on Saturday 6 August. Newcastle will be very busy, especially on the Saturday, so anyone travelling to and from the town should leave extra time for their journeys and we will be enhancing our services to meet demand. We would also encourage visitors to use our great value summer fares such as the Translink Family and Friends Ticket offering all-day travel for up to two adults and four children on all Translink bus and train services in Northern Ireland for just £22. Alternatively, our Bus Rambler Ticket is just £9 adult and £4.50 child and provides all day travel on Translink bus or coach services throughout Northern Ireland”.
As always, public safety is absolutely paramount and visitors are urged to pay close attention to PSNI and Marshalls’ directions and to obey all beach signs. Spectators should not approach the water’s edge at low tide as that will force aircraft out to sea and spoil everyone’s enjoyment. Spectators are also warned that the use of drones is strictly prohibited. If a drone is detected in the area, all display flying will stop immediately.
For the latest information about the B/E Aerospace Festival of Flight visit visitmournemountains.co.uk,pick up one of the souvenir programmes available in the Newcastle Visitor Information Centre or in outlets across the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area, or call 028 4372 2222.