L-R Katie McKee (4), Chairman of Newry, Mourne & Down Mark Murnin, Martin McGinley Managing Director & VP of Rockwell Collins (Kilkeel), & Lucy McKee (8)
L-R Katie McKee (4), Chairman of Newry, Mourne & Down Mark Murnin, Martin McGinley Managing Director & VP of Rockwell Collins (Kilkeel), & Lucy McKee (8)

This August will see the return of the much-anticipated Festival of Flight sponsored by Rockwell Collins, over the shores of Newcastle in scenic County Down. The festival, hosted on Saturday 11th August, will comprise of an afternoon of a stunning airborne display, led by the Red Arrows, complemented by family fun events including an Aviation Centre and Food Village.

2018 marks a particularly exciting year as the RAF celebrates its centenary.  To mark the occasion, the RAF will be displaying aircrafts on the ground to encourage the public to meet crew members and get close to the magnificent planes. There will be a STEM Zone focusing on aviation as a career, offering the public the opportunity to have hands on experiences with the aerospace world as well as the chance for younger visitors find out more about the aviation profession.

The festival, marking the third of five events in the Giant Adventures summer programme spearheaded by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, is expected to attract up to 100,000 visitors.

Councillor Mark Murnin, Chairman of Newry, Mourne and Down Council said: “The Festival of Flight is a spectacular event in the programme. Whether you are an aircraft enthusiast or would like a great family day out, Newcastle is transformed into an aviation hub that is the perfect place for people to visit, locally and beyond. With a range of music, food, aircraft displays and the excitement of the RAF100 commemoration, it is set to be one of the biggest and best years yet!”

Announcing continued support for the annual event, Martin McGinley, Managing Director and Vice President of Rockwell Collins in Kilkeel said, “Our passion for aviation is the bedrock of our success and we look forward to sharing our enthusiasm with the audience of almost 100,000 people who are expected to converge on this beautiful corner of County Down for this year’s event.

“In Kilkeel, we manufacture seating for most of the world’s commercial airlines and we are proud to be part of a major business which is recognised and respected as a global leader in aviation. We are equally proud of the significant economic contribution which Rockwell Collins makes in Northern Ireland, not only in its support for hundreds of jobs but also through our extensive supply chain.

“The 2018 Festival of Flight promises to provide a thrilling highlight to the Summer of 2018. Research demonstrates that the positive economic impact of this great event will continue long after the roar of the engines subsides, with many visitors encouraged to make return visits to the region. This is fantastic news for all of us who want to see the local economy soar!

“On behalf of everyone who will have their eyes on the skies on the big day, I thank all those whose hard work, vision and commitment combine to deliver this amazing annual attraction.”

For Mariners and Pleasure Craft Users, an important navigation warning has been issued to ensure the show runs undisrupted. Due to necessary restrictions in place for the Festival of Flight, it is important that all vessels observe boundaries from 14:00 to 18:30. Cooperation will be greatly appreciated to ensure maximum safety at the event.

Festival of Flight is supported by Tourism NI. For further information about the Festival of Flight and the Giant Adventures programme visit

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