April 7, 2017 2:26 pm
Updated: April 7, 2017 4:25 pm

Airshow London 2017 to be Canada’s largest demonstration of military air power

Organizers announce more performers for Airshow London (ASL) 2017. From left to right, Co-founder and Chair of ASL Board Jim Graham, CEO of London International Airport Mike Seabrook, Mayor Matt Brown, Co-founder and Director of Flight Operations for ASL Gerry Vanderhoek, Chair of Norton Wolf School of Aviation Technology at Fanshawe College Stephen Patterson, and Executive Director of ASL Dave De Kelver.

Natalie Lovie/AM980 London

The region’s biggest airshow will now be the country’s largest display of military air power thanks to some big announcements from Airshow London (ASL) organizers.

At a news conference on Friday, officials announced the U.S. Navy Super Hornet Strike Fighter will count London as one of its 25 shows in 2017. Participation from the Australian and Turkish air forces was also announced.

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“We hope to have more than just the two we announced today but the two that we have announced are going to be an incredible addition,” said Gerry Vanderhoek, ASL director of flight operations.

“They’re both first for North America in the airshow world.”

Previous announcements for the airshow included the RCAF CF-18 demonstration team, the Snowbirds, and the USAF F-35A Lightning II Heritage Team.

More announcements are expected in the coming weeks. Dave De Kelver, executive director of Airshow London, adds that all the profits go back into the community.

“Whatever we do with profits will be to sustain the event and to turn around and share with the community,” said De Kelver.

“Community organizations like London Children’s Health Foundation, veterans’ charities, and [Fanshawe] College itself through student bursaries. That’s our long-term goal, it’s going to take some time [as] we’re a new organization. We’re doing all the things for the right reasons.”

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The airshow also serves as an inspiration to many youths thinking about pursuing careers in aviation.

“Last year we had over a dozen crew members from the London and area region,” De Kelver explained. “They told us almost to a person – I was going to say men but there are some women as well – who said that they got their passion for flying from the old London airshows. The more kids or youth that we can have out here that maybe get that same passion – that’s great.”

Airshow London runs from Sept. 22-24 and tickets can now be purchased online.

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