The Reno Air Racing Association’s mission is to perpetuate the most unique air racing event and aviation experience in the world by combining the world’s fastest motor sport with spectacular military and civilian air entertainment.
The Reno Air Racing Association Board of Directors, a small full-time staff and hundreds of volunteers work together to preserve this unique event. Staff members handle the thousands of details needed year-after-year, planning for the next event before the current one is completed. Approximately 2,500 volunteers serve in capacities ranging from course safety and security to event sequencing and air traffic control to race timing and scoring.
The National Championship Air Races is the last event of its kind, carrying on the tradition of the Cleveland Air Races of the 1920s, 30s and 40s. In 1964, Bill Stead organized an air race near Reno, Nevada, and the Reno National Championship Air Races were born. The event that Bill Stead started in the Nevada desert more than 47 years ago is still going strong. The event has only been interrupted once in September of 2001 when all aircraft in the United States were grounded following the terrorists attacks in New York and Washington.
Held every September just north of Reno, the National Championship Air Races have become an institution for northern Nevada and aviation enthusiasts from around the world. For one week, the high desert north of Reno becomes home to hundreds of aircraft, their pilots and crews. In the past ten years, the event has attracted more than 150,000 spectators and generated more than $60 million a year for the region’s economy. The event features six racing classes, a large display of static aircraft and several military and civil flight demonstrations.