The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) is a very large Air show containing hundreds of modern military aircraft in the static line-up and air display from many different countries around the world.
This Airshow is usually held at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire which is a large base used infrequently by USAF deployments which makes it an ideal venue for such a large Airshow.
RIAT usually takes place over a weekend in July, and you can also view the aircraft on arrival days and departure day.
Click here to visit the official website of the .
The first Air Tattoo was held at North Weald, Essex in 1971. North Weald was then still owned by the Ministry of Defence and it was was inactive so it had to be re-activated for the event. North Weald also hosted the Air Tattoo in 1972 but in 1973 the M11 motorway was being built close to North Weald's main runway so a new location was found for the Air Tattoo at RAF Greenham Common. Greenham Common hosted more aircraft and 2 days were allocated for the event. Due to its success it was also hosted there in 1974.
In 1975 with the loss of the Director of the IAT, the withdrawal of a major sponsor, and an international fuel crisis there wasn't an Air Tattoo. However a proposal was put to the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund which decided to support future Air Tattoos at Greenham Common. In 1976 the show became the International Air Tattoo (IAT). The 1977 IAT was the last of the annual International Air Tattoos, as it was then held every other year.
The International Air Tattoos in 1979, 1981, and 1983 became bigger and better with the 1983 IAT being the last to be held at Greenham Common due to the build up of cruise missile facilities and the reduced area for a large airshow. In 1985, RAF Fairford was chosen as the venue to host the Air Tattoo with the static display stretching for nearly 2 miles which was the longest single line-up ever presented in the UK. Fairford hosted the event biennially until 1993 and annually since then.
In recognition of its unique status, the current title of 'Royal International Air Tattoo' was granted by Her Majesty The Queen in 1996.
During 2000 and 2001 the Royal International Air Tattoo was held at RAF Cottesmore, Rutland because RAF Fairford was having its runways resurfaced. RIAT returned back to RAF Fairford in 2002.
Day-specific tickets were introduced for the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in 2008 because RIAT 2007 saw many more people attending on Saturday rather than Sunday because the weather forecast was much better for Saturday. This resulted in traffic chaos and long queues on Saturday. It is thought that issuing day-specific tickets (Saturday or Sunday) which will have to be bought in advance (there will be no on-the-day tickets) will solve the problems of RIAT 2007. It is still possible to purchase a ticket which covers both saturday and Sunday but at a higher price.
The Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in 2008 was cancelled both days (Saturday and Sunday) due to a sustained period of heavy rainfall resulting in waterlogged conditions in the public carparks and also the airfield.
R.I.A.T. Air Show|
7th-8th July 2012
|The Google map below will help you to locate RAF Fairford Airshow and allows you to zoom in for more detail or switch to satellite view.|
PO Box 1940,
GL7 4NA For Sat Nav to show: GL7 4EG
Telephone: 0800 107 1940
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