SIAF 2021 Sees Turnout of 20,000, Kollar Praises Pilots for Heroism and Skill

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SIAF 2021 held at the Kuchyna Airport on September 4, 2021 (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, September 5 (TASR) – The two-day 2021 Slovak International Air Fest (SIAF) saw the turnout of 5,000 visitors in the OTP sector (for the vaccinated, tested and people who overcame COVID-19) and 15,000 in the vaccinated-only zone on its first day, Slovak Air Agency spokesperson Michala Cabanova reported on Sunday.

The organisers of the largest aviation event in Slovakia prepared an action-packed program for visitors at the Kuchyna Airport that lasted for almost eight hours.

Among the greatest draws was the aerobatic show of Austrian daredevil, skydiver and BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner, best known for his extreme parachute jump from the stratosphere. SIAF visitors could see him piloting BO 105 C aircraft. Another performance was delivered by Italian aerobatic crew Frecce Tricolori and Slovak aerobatic group called Ocovski Bacovia (Flockmasters of Ocova).

On display were also historical aircraft Chance Vought F4U-4 “Corsair”, B-25J, P-38 and Mig-15.

The event was opened by House Chair Boris Kollar (We Are Family), who underlined the importance of having reliable aviation equipment and aircraft in his speech, claiming that it enables Slovakia to extend help in crisis situations. “Of course, it’s not just about the equipment, but also about the pilots, their “artistry” and heroism,” stated Kollar and thanked pilots for their work in the recent evacuation operation in Afghanistan.

Kollar’s words of praise were echoed also by Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad (OLANO), according to whom the challenging operation in Afghan Kabul clearly demonstrated the importance of the Slovak Air Force. “Hats off to you. You did a great job,” he told the servicemen and servicewomen, who helped save dozens of people with ties to Slovakia.

The event, held in September 4-5, featured 30 flight performances and saw participation from 13 countries.