Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Is the Festival of Fight open to the general public?
A1. YES! The will be open base is open to the general public, however we ask everyone to remain vigilent and follow best practices for mitigating against COVID. If you are sick, stay home.
Q2. Where should we watch the flying from?
A2. On base of course! However, many of the local residents will be able to see the flying from their homes and backyards. We are going to have a limited range "radio broadcast" option for those who prefer to be a short distance from the base.
Q3. Are there places near the base we can watch from?
A3. Yes. While the dirt roads adjacent to the base will be closed due to our security protocols and FAA safety regulations during the event, we will have a limited range "radio broadcast" option that reaches about a mile and a half around the base.
Q4. Do I really need a ticket for this event? I thought it was free?
A4. The Festival of Flight and parking on the base are free. A limited number of Executive Chalet and Box Seats are available, which provide an enhanced or catered experience, for a price. There is plenty of space for everyone on the installation to see the amazing aerobatic events!
Q5. I have a military/Reserve/retired ID. Can I come on anyways?
A5. Yes! This event is open to authorized visitors AND the general public; access and parking are free.
Q6. Will the Commissary, or Navy Exchange be open?
A6. Yes. The Navy Exchange is open from 0900 - 1700. The Commissary hours will be 0900 - 1830. Both facilities will only be open for authorized patrons.
Q7. What time does the flying start?
A7. Please check our Schedules Page for the latest times.
Q8. Who will be flying at the event?
A8. Please consult our Schedules Page for the latest performers.
Q9. Will the Thunderbirds be performing at the Festival of Flight?
A9. No. The USAF Thunderbirds are not scheduled to fly at our event.
Q10. Can I bring a camera and camera pack with large lenses?
A10. Yes. However, you will need to identify your bag to security personnel who will open it and inspect it as you enter the airfield area.
Q11. Can I bring a drone?
A11. Absolutely not. NAF El Centro is a NO DRONE ZONE.
Q12. What happens if it rains? Will you reschedule the airshow?
A12. Depending on the amount of rainfall we get, if any, in the days prior to, or day of, we will make a "GO/NO GO" decision after confering with our performers and safety staff. If we have to cancel the event, we will refund tickets, if purchased, and we will not reschedule the event for another day. However, if there is just light rain, we may need to do some alternative parking which might have people walking farther than normal.
Q13. Where are we parking? In the past I had to park in the dirt.
A13. We have limited parking on the base and there is a high probability you may have to park on the dirt or on grass. We do not recommend you bring low riding vehicles and luxury sports cars to the event. When parking on the dirt, please be careful.
Q14. Is there a list of permitted and not permitted items I can bring?
A14. Yes. Please check out our General Information Ppage.
The conduct of the 2023 NAF El Centro Festival of Flight will strictly adhere to the latest federal, state, and county health protection guidance and aims to provide the safest environment possible to our welcome community members. By participating in this voluntary event, you waive the right to any claim against the federal government, contractors, and volunteers aboard NAF El Centro to include personal liability, claim, suit, action, loss, or damage that may result from your attendance.