Image of a previous air show above the sea in Torre del Mar. E. Cabezas
This is the flying programme for this weekend's Torre del Mar international air festival

This is the flying programme for this weekend's Torre del Mar international air festival

Training flights start today, before the sunset show on Saturday and the main event on Sunday which is expected to attract more than 300,000 people to enjoy the spectacle of 40 aircraft taking to the skies above the Costa del Sol

Jennie Rhodes / Eugenio Cabezas

Torre del Mar

Friday, 8 September 2023, 07:58


The Torre del Mar International Air Show is back again this year, with practice events taking place throughout today (Friday 8 September), the sunset show on Saturday 9 and the main event taking place throughout the day on Sunday 10.

Firm favourites are among the more than 40 aircraft taking part in this year’s show including the Eurofighter and British Aerosparx team who will be lighting up the night sky with their stunning pyrotechnic display on Saturday.

Malaga’s Ejército de Aire, Yakstars, Spain’s Patrulla Águila and Patrulla Aspa, the National Police and Guardia Civil and aerobatic display team Vuelo Acrobático are just some of the participants in this year’s festival. This year it will mark a very important milestone. “It is the first time that Swiss air force jets will perform a display in Spain. Having this team as part of our festival is going to be an important marker in the show’s history,” said the technical director of the festival, Pablo González.

The show can be enjoyed along the Vélez-Málaga coastline, although the main action takes place over Torre del Mar’s town centre beach.

This year, almost three days in advance, organisers have announced the planned timetable for next Sunday's flying exhibition. However, at midday on Thursday, the arrival of a Spanish Air Force Eurofighter had already startled the locals and tourists, in a first reconnaissance flight over the area. Training will continue this Friday and Saturday and on Saturday afternoon there will also be a sunset air show.

The event will start at 7.15pm. It will start again with the thunderous noise of the Eurofighter, followed by the big draw novelty of this eighth edition, the appearance of the Patrouille Suisse display team. The Swiss country's formation team flies six Northrop F-5 Tigers, a powerful combat aircraft whose speed and performance are far superior to the training aircraft normally used by this type of formation.

On Sunday, flying the programme is scheduled to open at 11.30 a.m. with the aerial advertising planes until 12noon. That is when the Ultra Plus team will take to the stage. It will be followed by the National Police helicopter EC135, from 12.10 to 12.18. Then it will be the turn of the acrobatic pilot Jorge Macías. At 12.30pm it will be the turn of the Guardia Civil, with their helicopter and aircraft, the EC135 and the CN235.

From 12.47 to 12.57 the Real Aeroclub de Málaga will take the lead, followed by the aerobatic pilot from Malaga, Francis Giménez. From 1.07 to 1.27pm the skies above Torre del Mar will be taken over by the Yakstars formation, who will be followed by Ramón Alonso. From then on, the main highlights of the programme will begin. From 1.39 to 2.07pm the Aspa team will take to the stage and from 2.07 to 2.17pm the Air Force Eurofighter. In this final part of the day, the Patrouille Suisse will delight with its display. From 2.41 to 2.49 pm will be the 'special formation'. The finishing touch will be provided by the Patrulla Águila team and at 3.59pm, the aero-advertising flights will bring the day to a close.

Economic impact of more than three million

The town hall considers that the event is "a driver for the revitalisation of the local economy in a month usually with less spending, after the high season, which allows us to break the seasonality, always for the benefit of traders and businessmen". It estimates that it brings an economic impact of more than three million euros to the local area.

Parallel to the festival, there is also an aeromodelling exhibition in the stage area of the Poniente promenade, which, as every year, is carried out by the Club Aeromodelismo Axarquía.

Councillor David Vilches stressed that "this will complete a high quality air show, featuring some of the best of the international scene in this field. It is a clearly consolidated event on our coastline, an international benchmark and contributes to boosting the tourist, cultural, gastronomic and leisure offer, beyond the offer represented by our climate and the 22 kilometres of themed beaches, accessible and open all year round".

Director of the Torre del Mar International Air Festival, Pablo González, said that "this is one of the best festivals in Spain and one involving the largest number of aircraft. It is an event that requires a great deal of work and coordination, which is why it requires an important infrastructure that we fortunately have in Vélez-Málaga and Torre del Mar". Regarding the aircraft participating, González highlighted that "we will have a diverse spectrum of aircraft, from jet fighters to aerobatic patrols and historic aircraft, offering a spectacle that can not be found anywhere else. In addition, this year will mark a historic milestone with the first appearance of the Swiss aerobatic team on Spanish soil".

Mayor of Vélez-Málaga, Jesús Lupiáñez (PP), considered that "the Torre del Mar International Air Festival puts our area on the map with one of the most beautiful, eye-catching and attractive shows of the summer, because we have worked to bring together some of the best exhibition pilots and aircraft to offer an air show that will leave everyone speechless".

The Velez councillor argued that "this air show is a great opportunity for our municipality to continue to attract tourism, outside the months of July and August, and we expect, in fact, the arrival of thousands of people. We hope that everyone enjoys a day full of excitement and fun, that our bars and restaurants are full to overflowing, and that the local residents enjoy a different weekend.

Finally, the mayor pointed out that "as every year, we have held meetings to ensure the safety of our attendees, which is our top priority. We have worked closely with the National and Local Police, Guardia Civil and the fire brigade, and a very special event is guaranteed to be held with entertainment and a hosts of events for the whole family".

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