Frequently Asked Questions

2018 Thunder of Niagara International Air Show Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated: 6/8/2018 @ 10:54 ET.

For maximum FUN and minimum stress … Please read this entire page, BEFORE leaving for the air show. Thank you!

Additional information available at:

Is the air show FREE?

Yes, the air show is FREE for the public to attend, Saturday, June 9th and Sunday, June 10th. This also includes FREE Parking & Shuttle Bus service to and from the air show.

What time do the gates open?

Gates open at 9:00 am on Saturday and Sunday of the show. VIP ticket holders, please check your ticket for early access details. Gates close at 5:00 PM, both days. No admittance after 2:30pm.

Where Can I Park?

Here are the FREE parking and FREE shuttle bus locations: Parking & Directions

Will there be specific parking for the Disabled?

Yes, there will be Disabled Parking areas (ON BASE ONLY) as close as possible to the Air Show ramp. Show your valid Disabled Parking tag to security to be directed to this area. Enter at the Main Gate off Lockport Road.

What Time Do the Shuttle Buses Start?

Shuttle Buses run starting at 9 AM Saturday & Sunday. Buses will run continuously throughout the day until parking lots are cleared.

When will the flying begin?

Aircraft will take to the sky at approximately 11:00 am.

Is there a fee for admission or parking?

No. Admission to the show on Saturday and Sunday as well as Parking are FREE! Due to potential traffic issues, you are encouraged to use the off base parking and free shuttles to and from the base.

I have small children. Can I bring a stroller, wagon, diaper bag, or change of clothes?

Yes. Strollers and wagons are allowed but will be hand-searched at the security checkpoint. Please bring only necessary items in the diaper bag, also subject to hand-search at the security checkpoint. Please consider bringing hearing protection for small children.
DIMENSIONS: Diaper bags, small purses, and small camera bags at or below 21 inches long, 10 inches wide, 10 inches deep are allowed

Can I bring my camera, video camera, or cell phone?

Yes. There are no security restrictions on these items. Keep in mind that everything is subject to search and you cannot disrupt the viewing for other attendees, especially in the paid VIP Flight Deck and Preferred seating areas.

Can I use UBER or LYFT ride sharing?

Yes. All ride share customers should direct drivers to pick up and drop off at the NFARS Visitor Center, just inside the main gate to the right before the guard shack. Physical address is 10405 Lockport Road, Niagara Falls, NY 14304. As an alternative, it is advisable to be dropped off at the Summit Park Mall off base parking or NFTA Overflow lot on NF Blvd and ride the FREE shuttle buses back and forth if you wish to limit your time stuck in regular vehicle traffic. The shuttle buses have special lanes to move between the base and parking areas.

Can I bring food?

Small snacks are fine as long as they are not in glass containers. In addition, no ice chests or coolers (except small coolers for medical supplies or infant formula purposes). No bags larger than a small purse. (at or below 21 inches long, 10 inches wide, 10 inches deep) Fanny packs, backpacks and Camelbaks will be allowed (Camelbaks must be empty). All items brought are subject to approval by gate security personnel and are hand-searched at security checkpoint. Click on the following link for more details on: Approved & Prohibited Items.

Will there be any food or souvenirs available?

Yes. There will be concessions for food, drinks, and souvenirs.

Can I leave and re-enter the Air Show?

Yes. You may leave and re-enter as many times as needed up until 2:30pm each day. However, anyone re-entering will have to go through the security checkpoints again.

I’m an off duty police officer/peace officer/armed guard or CCW permit holder, can I carry my firearm?

No. Absolutely no weapons of any kind will be allowed on base regardless of Federal/State/Local law enforcement status or not. This includes firearms, batons, tasers, OC/pepper spray, and all edged weapons including pocket knives and cutting tools. It will be confiscated by Security Forces and you may be asked to leave the premises.  Any concerns should be directed to Captain Rhoney, Operations Officer, 914th Security Forces Squadron 716-236-3159.

Can I bring my motorhome or RV on base?

No. We do not have the room to accommodate these vehicles. However, there are several RV parks in the Western NY area that you can park at as well as the Summit Park Mall lot if you don’t plan on spending the night. You can take the free shuttle from the Summit to and from the show.

Is there special parking for motorcycles?

Yes. There is a designated area on the main base for motorcycle parking. You will be directed to that area which is off Ent Ave near the front gate. Please be aware that the parking is on grass and you should bring along a flat board of some type for the kickstand to avoid sinking into the soft ground. You are also encouraged to use off base parking and ride the free shuttles.

Is tailgating allowed?


Is smoking allowed?

Yes, but only in designated areas and NOT on the flight line.

Are alcoholic beverages allowed?

Those over 21 can purchase them at concessions, but you cannot bring your own.

Do I need an ID?

No ID is required to gain access to the installation. However, all New York State laws requiring identification apply for driving and purchasing alcoholic beverages.

Can I bring necessary Prescription medication?

Yes. If you have necessary prescription medication, you must have identification that matches the name on the bottle. Please only bring what you need for the day. All meds are subject to search by Security Forces. Click on the following link for more details on: Approved & Prohibited Items.

Are Service Animals allowed?

Yes. Please bring the appropriate documentation for your service animal along with your identification. Emotional support animals are not allowed.

Can I bring folding chairs?

Yes. If your folding chair is one of the types that come in a carrying-case, please have it out for inspection. Click on the following link for more details on: Approved & Prohibited Items.

Can I bring my bicycle?

No. Bicycles, skateboards, scooters, heelies, roller skates or roller blades are prohibited.

Will restroom facilities be easily accessible?

Yes. Portable restrooms will be located throughout the Niagara ramp.

Can I take pictures or get autographs?

Yes. Many of the performers make themselves available for autographs and pictures during the show.

Will it be necessary to have hearing protection?

Due to the nature of the event, it is highly encouraged you bring hearing protection – especially for children. There will be a number of aircraft taking off, landing, and performing, which will be extremely loud. Hearing protection will be available for purchase as well.

Which day will the Thunderbirds, Snowbirds and F-22 be performing?

Both! All 3 will perform their amazing demonstrations both days, weather permitting.

Will there be shade?

There are limited areas of shade available throughout the flight line. You can take a walk through one of our larger static displays to get a break from the sun, as well as an open hangar featuring displays.

What happens if it rains?

In the event of rain, some flying demonstrations may be delayed. However, unless the weather poses a serious threat to the safety of the visitors and participants, the show will proceed as scheduled with some modifications. In the event of an Air Show cancellation, announcements will be coordinated with local news agencies and social media.

Are umbrellas allowed at the air show?

Small rain umbrellas are fine to bring (the small ones that fit in a purse), but large golf umbrellas or shade umbrellas are banned as they may block the view of spectators behind you.

What type of medical services will be available?

First aid only will be provided such as oral hydration, treatment for minor cuts and bruises, and application of emergency medications (ex. Epi-pens). Medical personnel will stabilize and coordinate transportation to higher level of care for all other injuries/illnesses.

How will traffic be handled to and from the Air Show?

The New York State Police, Niagara County Sheriffs, Town of Niagara Police and NITTEC will work hand in hand with on-base Air Force Security Forces personnel to expedite traffic in and out of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. Please note that law enforcement personnel and NITTEC may counter flow traffic on roads surrounding the Air Show for faster and more efficient traffic flow both in and out – so it is CRITICALLY IMPORTANT to watch for signs and follow traffic officers’ direction. Please note: Walmore Road will be closed to traffic during the Thunderbird Performance. **To avoid traffic delays, you are strongly encouraged to use one of the free offsite parking lots and free shuttles to the base. (See Parking & Directions page)**

Is it safe to come to the Air Show?

Safety is always a primary concern at air shows. The personnel at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station work very closely with local and federal authorities to ensure safety. They follow and enforce all security rules and regulations required. You will notice extra security at the air show, both military and civilian.

Who can I call for additional information?

For more information call the 914th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office at 716-236-2136 or via email at