About Maryland Fleet Week & Air Show Baltimore 2018 Frequently Asked Questions
What is Maryland Fleet Week and Air Show Baltimore?
MARYLAND FLEET WEEK & AIR SHOW BALTIMORE (October 3-9) is presented by Northrop Grumman and celebrates the rich maritime traditions of the Chesapeake Bay and the contributions of Marylanders to the defense of the nation. U.S., Canadian and British Navy vessels will be in port October 4-8 (viewing days) at the Inner Harbor, Fells Point and Locust Point and the USAF Thunderbirds’ jets and other aircraft will be in the skies October 6-7. The Fleet Week Festival will stretch along the Inner Harbor promenade October 5-7.
Where and when are events taking place?
Maryland Fleet Week and Air Show Baltimore events will occur October 3-9, 2018, at locations around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, at Fort McHenry and in Baltimore County at Martin State Airport. The weeklong event will feature interactive activities, local food and drink at the festival, tours aboard Naval vessels, spectacular air shows, educational outreach programs, live music, and much more. Please note: The Air Show over Baltimore and Open House at Martin State Airport take place on October 6-7, 2018.
Is there a cost for event admission?
Maryland Fleet Week & Air Show Baltimore events are free and open to the public and includes air show viewing and tours of naval vessels. Admission to Air Show Baltimore is free for all visitors. Please note that once capacity has been reached at Fort McHenry, visitors will not be granted admittance and may then opt to tour the visiting ships or other attractions within the city or at Martin State Airport in Middle River, Baltimore County. We expect all locations to draw large crowds and reach venue capacity at each site very early in the day. Venue capacity will be determined for each air show viewing site based on various factors, including but not limited to, weather, air temperature, and how many people each venue can safely hold. Interested spectators are asked to check the website, Facebook and Twitter for real-time updates on venue capacity throughout the air show day on October 6 and 7.
What will I be allowed to bring?
For the safety and enjoyment of all visitors to Maryland Fleet Week and Air Show Baltimore, a security screening and bag policy has been implemented that conforms to best practice standards for large-scale events. The City’s public safety team continues to evaluate security policies and is always adapting to provide the safest and most secure environment. Developed with the event organizers, this policy represents best practices nationwide and takes into account both safety and visitor experience.
Which events and areas will be ADA accessible?
An area will be designated for ADA access to the air show viewing at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. Please alert a park ranger when you arrive and they will direct you to the area. Please note, this is on a first-come, first-served basis and ADA seating is limited. Getting to the Fort on Friday, October 5 – Drive to the Fort with valid identification for handicap parking area. On Saturday, October 6 AND on Sunday, October 7 - on Fort Avenue at Andre Street, traffic will be limited and restricted (must have an access pass). Fort Avenue at Andre Street will be closed Saturday, October 6th through Sunday, October 7th at 11:00pm. There will be LITTLE OR NO ACCESS TO FORT MCHENRY IN PASSENGER VEHICLES AND NO PARKING AT THE PARK ON THESE TWO DAYS! There will be a mobility shuttle available from Francis Scott Key Elementary School down to the Fort McHenry gate. There is no parking at the school – passengers may be dropped off or come to the school by mass transit to begin with (see https://mta.maryland.gov/mobility). From there, it is an approximate 200 foot walk to the ADA area and another 500 to the seating area. The total seating area is 2000 feet long. Seeing the ships - the ships are built for warfare and, therefore, are not recommended for handicapped visitors. The USS Constellation, one of the Historic Ships of the Inner Harbor, is accessible and will be open. The Inner Harbor area is accessible, as are the National Aquarium, the Maryland Science Center, Harborplace & the Gallery, as well as nearby hotels and restaurants.
Will events take place rain or shine?
The air show will take place rain or shine, except in severe conditions. The safety of attendees and pilots is paramount. Inclement weather may delay flying activities but every effort will be made to produce an afternoon air show, unless deemed unsafe. The weather is monitored very closely and in the case of severe weather, air show experts will issue instructions. Please check the website and Facebook for air show updates throughout the week.
Can I operate a drone in Baltimore City?
Yes. However, the U.S. Navy, local law enforcement and state agencies are implementing robust security measures to ensure a safe and enjoyable event for all those that participate. Since we have no ability to verbally communicate with drones or drone operators, we strongly encourage all drone operations remain well clear of the Navy ships and piers to avoid any confusion by security personnel on the drone operator's intentions. And remember, FAA regulations prohibit flying drones over anyone not directly participating in the flight operation or not under a covered structure (e.g., a ship's crew or visitors).
Which Navy ships will be docked at the Inner Harbor?
More than a dozen U.S., Canadian and British navy vessels as well as U.S. Coast Guard vessels and others will be docked in the Inner Harbor, Fells Point and Locust Point. Check back closer to the event for official announcements on specific vessels participating!
Will we be able to board and tour Navy ships?
Yes, however, be prepared to pass minor security clearance to do so. Please check back at a later for updates on specific admission procedures. Visitors should plan on wearing comfortable shoes and clothing. If you are bringing a handbag or camera case, it may be searched prior to entering. A ship is an industrial environment, so avoid high-heels, necklaces that can get caught and bags that will be too heavy to comfortably carry. There is no age requirement to access naval vessels during Maryland Fleet Week; however, there may be steep ladders and/or stairways to climb and uneven surfaces to traverse during a ship tour, and thus, tours may not be appropriate for small children and may be difficult for parents carrying young children. Also, ship tours may not be appropriate for individuals with heart conditions, breathing difficulties, or other medical conditions impacting their ability to navigate such challenges. Strollers or baby carriages are permitted on the pier but are not allowed on the ships.
What items are not allowed on the ships?
The following are not permitted: Any types of glass bottles or glass containers (small plastic bottled water is allowed), banners, posters or signs of any type; mace, pepper spray, or other defensive sprays or chemicals; knives, firearms, fireworks or any explosive; illegal drugs or paraphernalia; flammable liquids or aerosol spray cans; club weapons; and pets. The U.S. Navy reserves the right to prohibit other items not listed above.
May I take photographs on the ships?
Photography is permitted aboard most ships during the tours. Pictures of the security personnel or procedures are prohibited.
Is smoking allowed on the ships?
No. There is no smoking aboard any ship or anywhere on the pier.
Is there any food available during the ship visitation?
No. Food is not available on the ships, but visitors will be able to purchase beverages and some food items at concession stands on or near the piers.
Are the ships selling souvenirs?
Yes. Ships generally have items and mementos available for sale. These items are generally cash sales only. (Subject to availability)
What information is available about Air Show Baltimore? Air Show Baltimore will take place on October 6 and 7, featuring precision flight demonstrations from the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard; the Royal Canadian Navy; the renowned Geico Skytypers; and an exciting aerobatic performance by Scott Francis Airshows. The featured act will be the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. The air show will take place over the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River. Air Show Baltimore is scheduled to start around 1:00 p.m. The air show will take place rain or shine unless there is severe weather. There may be delays based on severe weather and lightning, but the show will likely resume following any storm.
For the most recent updates or questions, please check out our Facebook page.
Where are the best places to view Air Show Baltimore?
Make sure to plan ahead as there will be lots of people interested in experiencing this exciting portion of Fleet Week. The air show will be accessible to view from:
- Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
- Inner Harbor area
- Chartered Boats/Sightseeing Cruises
Several less-crowded public parks provide "peek-a-boo" views of the performance airbox:
- Canton Waterfront Park
- Riverside Park
- Cherry Hill Park
- Reed Bird Island Park
- Garrett Park
There is no admission fee at any viewing sites (except sightseeing tours) and space is on a first-come, firstserved basis. Seats or risers will not be available at any public viewing locations, but you can bring blankets, lawn chairs, bag chairs, etc. to most sites. Once Fort McHenry has reached its full capacity, it will be closed to visitors.
Is ear protection necessary?
Ear protection is recommended for children and anyone with sensitivity to loud noise.
May I watch the Air Show Baltimore from my boat?
Yes and it is encouraged! The USCG has created a regulated area in and around the air box the air box. The zone will be patrolled for safety. The regulated area will restrict vessel traffic on the Patapsco River and its tributaries and will be enforced October 4-7. Check back for an official Maritime Safety and Security Bulletin for details. Any area outside of the USCG regulated area is open for boaters to view the air show Saturday and Sunday.
Can we see the Air Show from Martin State Airport?
You will not be able to see the air show from Martin State Airport in Baltimore County, however you can enjoy watching the Thunderbirds and the other pilots take off from and land at the airport. What's the best way to get in and around Martin State Airport? Martin State Airport can be accessed by MTA MARC Train's Penn Line and by car. Baltimore County Police will guide you to one of several parking lots made available by area businesses. Parking will be off airport, follow directional signs to any of the parking lots. Shuttle bus service will be available. Access to the ramp is highly controlled and visitors will be required to go through physical screening at the checkpoint between the festival village area and the ramp.
Is there a Festival at the Inner Harbor?
Exhibitors, food and drink, live music, and more will be on hand at the Inner Harbor, stretching from Rash Field and the Maryland Science Center around the promenade to the National Aquarium. The Fleet Week Festival will be open October 5-6 from 11:00am-6:00pm and October 7 from 11:00am-4:00pm.
What's the best way to get in and around Baltimore?
During Maryland Fleet Week & Air Show Baltimore, you may experience a heavier volume of traffic due to the special events taking place throughout the city. Please be patient, check the website for updates and road closures, and strongly consider taking public transportation into downtown Baltimore. Plan Your Visit! If you are driving to Baltimore, you will likely experience a heavier volume of traffic within the city due to large crowds. Alternatives include taking public transportation (MTA Busses or Light Rail), using the Charm City Circulator, riding bicycles, or hopping on water taxis to navigate in and around the Inner Harbor. And, "Use Your Feet to See the Fleet" so once you get downtown, consider walking to and from Locust Point, Fort McHenry and the Inner Harbor. See our ideas for transportation here.
Thursday, October 4 through Monday, October 8, take the Fleet Week Shuttle to U.S. Navy Ships in Locust Point and Fort McHenry (Shuttle leaves from Inner Harbor Visitor Center - 401 Light Street, Baltimore, MD 21202). Everyone using the Fleet Week Shuttle must have a valid state or federal issued photo I.D.
What about traffic and road closures?
There will be temporary road closures and parking restrictions but Maryland Fleet Week and Air Show Baltimore will be a truly unique experience so simply plan ahead! On Friday, October 5 – in Locust Point, Fort Avenue – no parking starting at 11:00pm On Saturday, October 6 AND on Sunday, October 7 - on Fort Avenue at Andre Street (near Fort McHenry), traffic will be limited and restricted (must have an access pass). Fort Avenue at Andre Street will be closed Saturday, October 6th 8:00am – 8:00pm and Sunday, October 7th 8:00am – 8:00pm. There will be LITTLE OR NO ACCESS TO FORT MCHENRY IN PASSENGER VEHICLES AND NO PARKING AT THE PARK ON THESE TWO DAYS! Plan to take the bus, ride a bike, hop on a Water Taxi or walk!!
What public transportation options are available?
Use Your Feet to See the Fleet (and the flights and the festival). Take public transportation to get into the city and once you get downtown, consider walking to and from Locust Point, Fort McHenry and the Inner Harbor.
MTA Bus- http://mta.maryland.gov/local-bus
Light Rail- https://mta.maryland.gov/light-rail
Charm City Circulator- http://www.charmcitycirculator.com/
Water Taxi- http://www.baltimorewatertaxi.com/
Where can we park?
Parking, at times, may be difficult but be patient and plan ahead! There are multiple public garages available around Baltimore City within walking distance of visiting ships and air show viewing areas. Parking will be VERY limited and restricted on Fort Avenue near Fort McHenry on October 6 and 7 due to the air show.
And, if you choose to park on the streets, please pay close attention to any and all parking restrictions throughout the city, as they vary from location to location. There will be strict enforcement of all parking and no stopping zones during Maryland Fleet Week and Air Show Baltimore.
When will we get updates?
More information will become available as it is confirmed by the U.S. Navy and other organizers. Bookmark http://www.mdfleetweek.org and check back often for updates. You can also follow Maryland Fleet Week and Air Show Baltimore on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest news.
How can I volunteer for Fleet Week?
There are great volunteer opportunities during this busy week to work alongside the Fleet Week/Air Show team. Click here to fill out our Volunteer form! Volunteers assist behind the scenes or in the crowds – help is needed with registration, answering visitor questions, checking credentials, and more!
Whom should I contact about sponsorships and advertising?
Sponsors and advertisers are invited to contact Lisa Hansen, Marketing Director, Historic Ships in Baltimore. Various sponsor programs have been developed to match your goals and help us reach ours!
What other sights and attractions can I experience while I'm in Baltimore?
Baltimore is a city rich with history and culture, an array of world-class museums and attractions, a topnotch culinary scene and an impressive selection of hotels. Our many one-of-a-kind neighborhoods – which continue to expand with the opening of restaurants, shops, cafes and more – as well as an exciting calendar of annual events, bring enjoyment to those of all ages. In Baltimore, you can honor the past while enjoying endless opportunities to explore, learn and have fun. For centuries, Baltimore has played a significant role in our nation’s history. Many of our museums and attractions paint a spectacular picture of how Baltimore has helped shape America through exhibits, special programs and events, interactive activities and “hands-on” history. Among these are Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine – the “birthplace of our national anthem” – and other sites you will only find in Baltimore, like the B&O Railroad Museum, which contains the country’s oldest, most comprehensive collection of American railroad artifacts; and the Maryland Historical Society, which houses the original manuscript of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Adventure seekers can climb the newly-restored Washington Monument in Mount Vernon, the nation’s very first monument dedicated to our first president; tour various historic ships in the harbor, like the USS Constellation, the US Submarine Torsk and the US Coast Guard Cutter Taney; or take a walking tour along the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail or Civil War Trail. Baltimore has a celebrated African American history as well, which can be explored at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African History & Culture, the largest African American museum on the East Coast; the National Great Blacks In Wax Museum, the only wax museum of its kind in the country; the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum, which recounts the history of these two influential men and the nation’s first black-owned shipyard; and more. In addition to our rich historical attractions and museums, the whole family can enjoy other spectacular Baltimore attractions, including the National Aquarium, the Maryland Science Center, the free Baltimore Museum of Art and The Walters Art Museum, the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, Port Discovery Children’s Museum and many more. Afterwards, stop at one of our renowned restaurants for a great meal or stroll and shop in any of our charming neighborhoods. A visit to Baltimore is sure to be full of fun and excitement and an experience that is not only one-of-akind, but memorable, too.
Is there a general information telephone number I can call?
Yes, please call 1-866-639-3526.