Due to the COVID-19 crisis the NATO Days in Ostrava & Czech Air Force Days, one of the most visited public events in Czech Republic, took place without the presence of the general public for the first time. Nevertheless, it was met with a great reception. Since the beginning of the preparation process it was an experiment on the European scale, which no one had any experience with. The organizers as well as the professional public speak of a great success because the live stream of the event was watched by over 900 thousand viewers.
This year's 20th NATO Days in Ostrava & Czeche Air Force Days were extraordinary. Unlike most similar events abroad, which did not take place this year due to the situation with coronavirus, NATO Days in Ostrava allowed spectators to experience the jubilee year of the event through modern technology. This year's topics were 75 years since the end of World War II, 15 years of JAS-39 Gripen aircraft in Czech Air Force and honoring members of the security forces and the Integrated Rescue System for their efforts during the spring coronavirus crisis. The program focused as much as possible on dynamic demonstrations.
Saturday's program of the 20th NATO Days in Ostrava & Czech Air Force Days was marked by thankfulness to the armed forces for their deployment during the coronavirus crisis. The Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Andrej Babiš, thanked the enlisted units of the Army of the Czech Republic, the Customs Administration, the Prison Service and the Ostrava Municipal Police. Despite the fact that visitors could not attend the event this year, its fans had the opportunity to watch, via Czech Television, the iDnes.cz portal and social networks, an attractive four-hour programme of dynamic demonstrations in pleasant autumn weather.
In August 2005, the last two of the 14 JAS-39 Gripen aircraft landed at the airport in Čáslav, replacing the obsolete Soviet MiG-21 fighters in the Czech Air Force. These modern fighters produced by Saab have significantly increased the capabilities of the Czech Air Force, and Saab is also the general partner of the event. This anniversary at this year's jubilee NATO Days in Ostrava & Czech Air Force Days will be commemorated by the joint flight of Gripen aircraft in the colours of the Czech, Swedish and Hungarian air forces.
The award-winning pair of Czech pilots will once again fly together this year at the NATO Days in Ostrava & Czech Air Force Days. Spectators can look forward to a demonstration of first-class piloting performed by Ivo Kardoš, a Major in the Czech Air Force on the JAS-39 Gripen, and Martin Šonka, an aerial acrobat on the Extra 300 special. The demonstration takes place thanks to the support of Saab, which is also the general partner of the event.
For the third time, the Airbus A400M Atlas transport aircraft will be present at the NATO Days in Ostrava & Czech Air Force Days. For this year, the German Air Force has prepared a special demonstration, during which Atlas will simulate air-to-air refuelling with a pair of Czech Gripens and later it will also present itself in a solo display.
The dynamic aerial display of US Air Force and Czech Air Force aircraft over the venue of NATO Days in Ostrava & Czech Air Force Days will demonstrate American determination and capability to fully support its valued NATO ally - the Czech Republic. One KC-135 Stratotanker, flown from Nebraska, USA, four F-16 Fighting Falcons flown from European bases, will accompany the B-52 Stratofortress which will fly a non-stop round-trip directly from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, USA.