About 110,000 Visitors Attend This Weekend’s NATO Days in Mosnov
The event attracted around 110,000 visitors over two days this weekend. Photo credit: Freepik.
Mosnov, North Moravia, Sept 19 (CTK) – About 110,000 people visited the NATO Days and the Czech Air Force Days at Ostrava’s Mosnov airport this weekend, the organisers told CTK. On Saturday the attendance was 85,000, falling to 25,000 on Sunday, in part due to the worse weather.
The event offered several premiere shows. On Saturday, visitors could see for the first time a flight of the fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II plane, piloted by the Dutch air force.
Earlier in the summer, the Czech cabinet agreed to start negotiating with the US government about the purchase of 24 F-35 fighters.
The state-of-the-art Swedish fighter JAS-39 Gripen E also flew for the first time in the Czech Republic and Central and East Europe.
It was also for the first time that the Swiss aerobatic group Patrouille Suisse performed a show at the NATO Days, with F-5E Tiger IIs.
The event also saw its first presentation from a South American country, as Brazil showed its transport plane C-390 Millennium.
On the other hand, this year’s show was probably the last for the Czech Mi-24/35V helicopters, which the army will start replacing with more modern machines.
After six years, the NATO Days saw a demonstration of the Quick Reaction Force Team, a popular women’s antiterrorist unit from Jordan. Visitors could also see the flying skill of Martin Sonka, the Czech and European aerobatics champion, with a Z-142C AF training plane.
Military, security and rescue units from 19 countries presented themselves at the event, which offered almost ten hours of dynamic shows each day, both in the air and on the ground, and further equipment on display.
The Ostrava mayor’s prize for the best air show went to David Szentendrei, the Hungarian pilot of a JAS-39 Gripen C.
The annual NATO Days event is the biggest security show in Europe. Entrance is free and the event has always attracted visitors from all over the Czech Republic and from abroad, mainly from nearby Poland.