Top Technique Attracted Thousands of Visitors to NATO Days in Ostrava
The eighth year of the unique show, NATO Days in Ostrava, just culminated at Leos Janacek Ostrava Airport. In spite of adverse weather, the all-day show, which featured displays of military technique including the most modern combat aircraft from nine countries, attracted approximately 40,000 visitors.
Visitors to Mosnov airport enjoyed a number of aircrafts and helicopters from the Czech Air Force as well as from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Performance of the Spanish aerobatic group, Patrulla Aquila, represented one of the greatest attractions of this year’s show.
“Even though the weather was unfavorable, we did not have to cancel any aerial display, fortunately. I would like to express my thanks to the visitors who despite of the bad weather found a way to come to Mosnov. Their reactions gives us a very positive feedback and assures us that our endeavor and hard work has a meaning,” said Zbynek Pavlacik from the Jagello 2000 Association.
The all-day program comprised of presentations of heavy military technique, police and rescue service equipment, dynamic displays of special forces’ training, aerial displays, as well as presentations of weaponry, gear, and equipment of various units. Nowhere else have visitors the chance to see top performance and technique not only of soldiers, firemen, and policemen, but also custom officers, prison guards, municipal police, and other elite units at one site.
According to Pavlacik, it was displays of military aircrafts that aroused the best reaction. Several aircrafts including two AWACS early warning aircrafts from the Royal Air Force Base in Waddington and the NATO Base in Geilenkirchen landed at Mosnov Airport. “Seeing these giant aircrafts rolling down the runway as well as taking off, and landing represented a great experience for many visitors,” Pavlacik added.
France, the Netherlands, and Ukraine, which contributed its giant An-124 Ruslan transport aircraft, participated at NATO Days in Ostrava for the first time. With regard to the Ruslan, its display disappointed many visitors. The public could enjoy the aircraft only for three hours. At noon, a pilot of the Ukrainian Air Force took off. “We believe that visitors will understand it was not our decision. We had to make a choice of three hours or nothing,” Pavlacik added.
More than 4 hours of flying displays and another 3 hours of ground presentations – that is the plan for the September NATO Days in Ostrava & Czech Air Force Days show. The highlights include the legendary UK Red Arrows aerobatic team. Czech fighters will present aerial refuelling for the first time ever.
Negotiations on US Air Force participation this year are reaping first fruit. Confirmation came for the static display of 2 F-15E fighter planes and one KC-135 Stratotanker air refuelling aircraft.
After last year´s premiere, Sweden Air Force will participate again at NATO Days in Ostrava & Czech Air Force Days with the same type of aicraft presentation – the S100D Argus, thus enabling renewed display of three different Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aicraft types at Ostrava.
NATO Days in Ostrava & Czech Air Force Days organizers continue in promotion of the event's first 10 years at key nodes of the North Atlantic Alliance. Latest venue is the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Mons, Belgium.