The Billings Airshow Will Draw Thousands. Wondering Where to Park?
The first air show to hit Billings in over two decades is expected to draw thousands to the Magic City, August 12-13 at Billings Logan International Airport, and we can't wait. Air shows are awesome. I remember seeing the Air Force's Thunderbirds show as a kid and it blew my mind. Watching the original Top Gun as a pre-teen only amplified my childish dream of becoming a fighter pilot. I mean... who wouldn't like to fly an airplane like that?
Of course, a fraction of armed forces candidates ever get a chance to become a fighter pilot. According to Zippia, merely three out of a thousand applicants end up making the cut. You've got to have a bachelor's degree, but that's just the beginning. Perfect eyesight, sharp hearing, the ability to withstand extreme g-forces, and a ten-year commitment are the bare minimum. Here's what it takes to apply for the Navy Blue Angels (PDF).
So... what about parking?
Everybody knows that airport parking is a premium. The parking lots are quite small. With the big air show coming up fast, we've been wondering how the parking situation is going to work. I mean, where are thousand of people going to park? How far will we have to walk? There won't be shuttles from MetraPark, because MontanaFair is happening that same weekend. We had so many questions.
A huge parking lot to the west of the airport.
We reached out to the City of Billings Public Information Officer Victoria Hill, who said there will be ample public parking in an area just west of the airport's main parking. First Student buses will be shuttling attendees from the lot to the main gate. Parking in this area will be free. Look for parking directions as you approach the airport roundabout.
The Rims will be closed that weekend (just as they are for the 4th of July) and there will be no commercial flights during the airshow. Tailgating is not permitted in the airport parking lot, and Montana Highway Patrol will be monitoring the Rims for drivers attempting to stop on the shoulder to watch the show.
Many Billings residents will be able to view at least some of the aerial action from their homes. If you have a friend that lives on the Rims, I'd be asking for an invite to their air show party. However, there are so many exciting things happening on the tarmac in addition to the Blue Angels show, that you'll want to get a ticket.
Gates open at 9 am on Saturday and Sunday.
Events (everything from bi-planes to jet cars, tethered balloon rides, and motorcycle stunt riders) begin at 11 am both days. The Blue Angels take to the skies at 3 pm on both days and gates close at 4:30. We'll get a sneak peek of the action on Thursday and Friday as the Blue Angels practice over the skies of Billings. Practices are closed to the public, but you can always glance up toward the airport to see some action. See the full schedule of performers HERE.