Don't miss the Grand Junction Air Show coming up this Saturday and Sunday. Tens of thousands of people turn out for this annual event. As you can imagine, this results in traffic issues and certain restrictions in the desert area around the airport. Here's a quick breakdown of things you'll need to know.

When you head out to the area around Grand Junction Regional Airport, you'll notice a semi-trailer parked at "airshow center." What is this for? It's to provide a landmark so pilots can orient themselves for distance and timing. Because of this, RVs and other "tall" vehicles, along with tents and such, will not be allowed in the desert IF they have the potential to affect a pilot's navigation. Well, there goes my big plan of putting up a tent out in the middle of the desert.

What if you were planning to go to the shooting range at the north end of the valley? Shooting ranges will be open per normal throughout the weekend. The rest of the desert area will be accessible as well. The area around 27 1/4 Road will be restricted due to FAA requirements. You can expect intermittent closures at the desert access point on 27 1/4 Road over the course of the weekend.

Let's say you're not a stunt pilot, but are planning on taking a commercial flight out of Grand Junction Regional Airport this weekend. Airport officials recommend you arrive for your flight a half hour earlier than normal. You're always advised to get to the airport at least an hour before your flight departs. This weekend, tack an extra half hour onto that.

Please note this year's airshow does NOT include a shuttle service. Parking at the airport does not even come close to accommodating the attendance at this event. You can probably count on a hefty hike, so plan accordingly.

Here are a few items you will not be able to bring into the air show:

  • glass containers
  • no pets
  • items with wheels including bikes, skateboards, scooters, etc. Obviously, this does not include wheelchairs.
  • coolers, ice chests, outside food

On a personal note, there is one item I strongly encourage you to bring. Don't forget the sunscreen. I went to this event every year growing up. Never once did I bring sunscreen. This skin of mine is good for about 45 minutes in direct sun. After an hour, I'm toast. Some people, namely me, never learn. Bring sunscreen, a hat, shades, and adequate clothing. This is Grand Junction, and as you know, temperatures and weather can change in an instant.

Do not miss Grand Junction Air Show 2017. If it's anything like past years, the presentation will be magnificent. Round up the entire bunch and head to the airport this weekend.