Today, the Reno Tahoe Airport Authority (RTAA) and the Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) announced that they have reached an agreement for 2023 to be the final year the Reno-Stead Airport will host the National Championship Air Races. The Reno Air Racing Association’s final Reno-Stead Airport event is set to take place from September 13-17 and will feature the seven classes of air racing plus extraordinary military and civilian demonstrations that fans have come to love as well as a celebration of the event’s almost 60 years in northern Nevada.
“We want to celebrate six decades of partnership, competition and airmanship which has brought our local community and aviation enthusiasts from all over the world together in this one-of-a-kind celebration of innovation and history,” said Daren Griffin, President and CEO of RTAA. “While it’s a bittersweet moment for our community and the RTAA, we are committed to working with RARA to ensure this year’s event is a tremendous success as we close this historic chapter for the event in northern Nevada.”
The National Championship Air Races are a one-of-a-kind event that has called northern Nevada home since its founding in 1964. However, RTAA’s concerns around challenging economic conditions, rapid area development, public safety and the impact on the Reno-Stead Airport and its surrounding areas are some of the contributing factors towards the final year of the National Championship Air Races.
“The National Championship Air Races have become synonymous with Reno and, while we are disappointed that this will mark our final year at the Reno-Stead Airport, we are proud the past ten Air Race events have attracted more than one million spectators, generated more than $750 million for the local economy and contributed significant aviation related education and outreach to schools and non-profits all around the area,” said Fred Telling, chairman and CEO of the Reno Air Racing Association. “We are thankful to the RTAA for the opportunity to celebrate and share this event’s storied history with the community and their commitment to work with us to make this year’s event one of the best ever. We are in discussions with other venues to explore our options to continue the National Championship Air Races well into the future. We hope to see all of our dedicated fans and many new and familiar faces at the event later this year.”
The 2023 event is set to return with more than 150 planes and pilots as well as several ‘hands-on’ displays and experiences including the GRADD-NVBAA STEM Education Discovery Zone, heritage displays military demonstrations and static displays and more. The event will also mark the third year of competition for the STOL (Short Take-Off and Landing) Drag which has become a phenomenon both in the skies and on social media. To learn more about the event’s final year or purchase tickets, visit https://airrace.org.