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Military

The Blue Angels are returning to MacDill Air Force Base for the Tampa Bay AirFest in March

Four Blue Angels flying next to each other
U.S. Navy
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After four years, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels will fly over Tampa on March 26-27, 2022, for the Tampa Bay AirFest.

The air show will once again be held after a four-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After four years, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels will fly over Tampa on March 26-27 for the Tampa Bay AirFest.

Hosted by MacDill Air Force Base, the event has traditionally been held every two years. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was canceled in 2020 and has not taken place since 2018.

This year, due to the nature of the pandemic, plans for the AirFest are subject to change. However, the AirFest will go on with free admission and family activities.

Although general admission is free, a limited number of premium seating tickets are available for purchase this year, to help attendees secure viewing.

Visitors can expect crowds, as around 150,000 people attended the 2018 event.

To alleviate the traffic, attendees can utilize an expedited HART Bus Transportation route that was created for the 2022 AirFest. Buses will run every 15 minutes between Britton Plaza and the base throughout the day.

The event will feature a variety of military and civilian flight performances, including the Blue Angels, F-22 Demo Team, and Para-Commandos.

Along with the performances, a variety of displays will be available for viewing. The displays will feature civilian aircraft, helicopters, tankers, and more.

One of the displays will include the 24 new KC-46 tanker aircraft that MacDill has recently begun hosting. These tankers are the next-generation aerial refueling support for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, along with a display for attendees to view.

To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, small areas such as aircraft cockpit displays will be blocked off. However, larger spaces will be open and masks – although encouraged – will not be required.

All five branches of the United States military will also be showcased, along with first responder agencies.

A schedule of all displays and performances will be posted no later than March 1. The schedule and any other information about the weekend can be found at the AirFest website.

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