Check out all road closures and diversions for this weekend’s event
The Wales Airshow is set to return this weekend (July 2 and 3) as Swansea continues to bounce back from the pandemic.
Tens of thousands of visitors are expected on the city’s promenade and waterfront for the action-packed weekend.
This year, as in previous years, there will be road changes to help keep people safe, including the closure of Oystermouth Road in both directions for the show’s duration.
Some of the world’s best pilots and flying displays will use the natural amphitheater of Swansea Bay to show their skills, pulling off eye-catching aerial acrobatics.
Swansea Prom will be transformed with ground displays, food and drink trucks, live music, demonstrations, family activities, rides and more.
Among the attractions confirmed so far for both days – weather permitting – are the RAF Red Arrows , the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, the Aerosuperbatics WingWalkers, Team Raven and the Strikemaster Pair.
On the Sunday, the Tigers Army Parachute Display Team are set to drop in with the Queen’s Baton heading to the Birmingham 20ww Commonwealth Games.
The Wales Airshow has grown in popularity from 75,000 visitors in its launch year in 2009 to an audience of around 250,000.
The event, organized by Swansea Council, last took place in 2019 before the pandemic caused cancellation.
Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “The people of Swansea and visitors from across the country love the Airshow. It’s become one of the best free events in the UK – so it’s good to have it back!
“The show continues to grow in entertainment value and that’s good news for Swansea as a welcoming, progressive, modern city.
“This year’s show promises to be as spectacular as usual, with the return of some of the favorite displays as well as some new ones.
“From jets to helicopters to the incredible Red Arrows, it’s two days of the year not to be missed. Even better – it’s free! It’s going to be a great spectacle and we can’t wait to see the crowds there.”
Spectators can head to the airshow for 10am on each day, when the ground displays open. The show closes at 6.30pm on both days.
As usual, a section of Oystermouth Road will be closed for the weekend to ensure a safe event environment for the many visitors. This event space – as it did in 2018 and 2019 – enables a large number of number ground displays and creates a visitor area where people can move safely without the risk of traffic. Emergency access will be maintained at all times.
Diversions and parking facilities have been arranged – and park and ride made available – to ensure visitors can reach the event whilst keeping traffic moving around the city as much as possible.
The city center will remain open for business.
Cllr Francis-Davies said: “To accommodate the show’s many visitors safely and comfortably, we need large amounts of space. For this reason, parts of Oystermouth Road are included in the event footprint. This can only be done safely by completely closing it to traffic along a short section.
“Closing the road is first and foremost a safety measure. However, we then try to optimize this space to improve the show’s content.
“We want to get the message out now – in good time before the event – so people can take the temporary closures into account and plan appropriately.
“We know motorists will be disrupted but we’ve listened to feedback from previous years and as a result, Oystermouth Road’s westbound traffic will be open until noon on the Friday and eastbound traffic will be open until 8am on the Saturday.
“This is will help keep traffic flowing on a busy Friday. I encourage motorists to plan ahead and allow extra time for their journeys.”
Russell Greenslade, chief executive of Swansea BID (Business Improvement District) said: “The Airshow is a great event for Swansea Bay. We are pleased to see it return with careful consideration given to road closures to help support local businesses.
“It’s important to stress that, although necessary temporary road closures will be in place, Swansea city center will be very much open for business.
“Local residents and visitors will be able to enjoy the great restaurants, cafes and retail on offer just a stone’s throw away from the Airshow activity and we encourage people to support the city center businesses.”
On Friday, July 1, Oystermouth Road will be closed westbound – towards Mumbles – from noon between the West Way and Brynmill Lane junctions. Diversions will be in place via Carmarthen Road. This will allow exhibitors and traders to set up on the westbound carriageway. Oystermouth Road traffic will be able to travel eastbound until Saturday morning.
Saturday and Sunday:
Over the weekend, Oystermouth Road closed in both directions – between the West Way and Sketty Lane junctions – from Saturday 8am to Monday 5am.
Access to the Marina, Singleton Park Boating Lake and Swansea University will be maintained throughout.
Emergency access will be maintained at all times.
Andrew Stevens, the council’s cabinet member for environment and infrastructure, said: “Oystermouth Road is one of our busiest routes so the decision to close it for the Airshow isn’t taken lightly. It is really the only safe option for the many thousands of visitors.
“Our highways team have put in place a series of diversions to keep the traffic moving during the weekend.
“We’re promoting the closure and diversions as widely as possible to enable motorists to plan their journeys in advance. This will hopefully help to reduce disruption for those not attending the event and to improve the experience for those that are.”