Water Salute: A High-Flying Tradition Takes Off

Ever seen a plane taxi through a majestic arch of water? That’s a water salute, a cherished tradition in aviation. Let’s take flight and explore this unique custom.

A Soaring Symbol of Respect

The water salute is a tribute of respect and honor for aircraft, crew, and passengers. It celebrates achievements and milestones in the aviation industry.

When Do Water Cannons Take Aim?

Water salutes typically mark special occasions, such as:

  • The first flight of a new airline or a groundbreaking aircraft model.
  • The well-deserved retirement of a veteran pilot or air traffic controller.
  • The final farewell to a retiring aircraft type.
  • Welcoming home a triumphant team or honoring fallen heroes.
WS: A High-Flying Tradition Takes Off

Where Do Skies Get Soaked?

Water salutes aren’t everyday occurrences at airports. They’re typically reserved for special events and require prior approval from airport authorities to ensure safety and proper coordination. While not every airport offers water salutes, they’re a cherished tradition at many major international hubs and some regional airports. If you’re curious to witness this impressive display, research the customs at your local airport or those you plan to travel through. You might just spot a plane taxiing under a magnificent arch of water on your next trip!

Creating a Spectacular Spray

Airport rescue and firefighting vehicles, also known as ARFF vehicles, are the key players. Parked on either side of the taxiway, they unleash powerful water cannons that form a magnificent arch.

A Global Tradition Takes Flight

The water salute is a worldwide phenomenon, seen at major international airports and regional hubs alike. While not required, the water salute adds a delightful touch to aviation, showcasing camaraderie and celebrating achievements that take flight.

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