Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Air show logistics: arrive early and be patient with traffic

As people are finalizing their plans to attend the Smoky Mountain Air Show this weekend, organizers are asking them to remember to arrive early and be patient with the large crowds that will be there to enjoy the show.

“There has been a lot of work put into how can we get people quickly and safely into and out of the air show each day,” said Becky Huckaby, spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority. “We’re asking people to get here in plenty of time and please be patient with us.”

There will be signs and volunteers directing traffic from all directions to the three parking areas. Parking lots open at 8 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday. The gates for the air show open at 10 a.m., and the opening ceremonies are expected to begin around 11 a.m.

None of the parking areas are on the McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, but are on airport property in the surrounding area. All of the parking areas are on grass terrain.

The Blue lot is a park-and-shuttle area. The average walk time to the shuttle is 10 minutes, and the average bus trip time to the air show entrance is 15 minutes.

There is no shuttle to the Green and Red lots. The average walk time from the Green lot to the gate is 25 minutes, and the estimated walk time from the Red lot is 35 minutes.

As of Tuesday afternoon, passes for the Blue and Green parking lots were sold out. There were still Red lot passes available for $40 for both days. You can find parking and traffic flow maps at

If people are being dropped off for the show, they will be able to walk in through the Red or Green parking lots.

Since organizers are expecting to park as many as 200,000 cars this weekend, Huckaby emphasized the need for people to allow plenty of time to arrive, park and walk to the spectator area before the show.

“We definitely want everyone to give themselves time,” she said.

People are allowed to bring chairs for the air show, but tents and umbrellas are not allowed. A complete list of prohibited items can be found at

Attendees should also keep in mind that the souvenir and food vendors will be cash only, no credit or debit cards will be accepted.

Arrive early for commercial flights

Commercial flights are still operating out of McGhee Tyson Airport throughout the weekend. Huckaby said passengers are recommended to arrive at least 1½ to two hours ahead of a domestic flight and at least 2½ hours ahead of an international flight due to increased traffic coming in and out of the airport.

Many of the airlines have concentrated their flights in the morning or later in the afternoon, but there will still be some commercial flights arriving and departing during the air show.

The Blount County Sheriff’s Office said they will provide information on road closures and traffic flow during the air show today. The Daily Times will post it on our website and publish it in Thursday’s edition.

Smoky Mountain Air Show

What day: Saturday and Sunday, April 16-17

What time: Parking areas open at 8 a.m., gates open at 10 a.m.

Price: General admission to the air show is free, however parking passes are $40 each. They can be purchased at Food and beverages will be on sale during the show.

What will you see: In addition to the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and other aerial performers, there will be about 40 static displays set up along the tarmac. There will be a kids area with activities and games, live music and the Budweiser Clydesdales will make an appearance.

Original article can be found here:

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