RAF Fairford is the home of the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT), an annual air display. RIAT is one of the largest airshows in the world, with the 2003 show recognised by Guinness World Records as the largest military airshow ever, with an attendance of 535 aircraft.
RAF Fairford was the only TransOceanic Abort Landing site for NASA's Space Shuttle in the UK. As well as having a sufficiently long runway for a shuttle landing (the runway is 3,046 m long), it also had NASA-trained fire and medical crews stationed on the airfield. The runway is rated with an unrestricted load-bearing capacity, meaning that it can support any aircraft with any type of load.