Canceled air shows chill a joy of summer
Congress' mandatory budget cuts are grounding elite military flying teams, creating an economic ripple effect in many communities.
In many parts of the country, the annual air show is as much a part of summer as the local carnival or a night out at the movies. But there's been a change this year.
Sequestration -- the across-the-board federal budget cuts mandated by Congress -- has grounded the Navy's Blue Angels and the Air Force's Thunderbirds. These are the precision flight teams that usually tour the country by taking part in American air shows. Also affected is the Army's Golden Knights parachute team.
This past weekend in Chicago, the Air & Water Show drew about 1.7 million people to the city's lakefront to watch performances by civilian acrobatic teams in vintage planes. But those numbers were down from the estimated 2 million who attended last year, in part because of the absence of military flight teams.
"One of the things I miss most of all is the week before the show, you'd be driving and you would suddenly be (buzzed) by the Blue Angels," as they practiced for the show, Chicago resident Diana Widman told The Tribune. "That's how you knew it was the air show weekend."
Earlier this year, the International Council of Air Shows announced about 200 of the country's 300 air shows were being affected by sequestration, with dozens canceling their events altogether.
Council president John Cudahy told The Christian Science Monitor that air shows have an estimated economic impact of up to $2 billion nationwide and that some of these venues may never rebound from the big military attractions' sequester-related cancellations.
A spokesman for the Thunderbirds told The Monitor a typical season for the high-powered jet squad costs around $9.75 million -- money the Air Force needs for other missions.
Some air shows are getting community support. Hundreds of volunteers are working with organizers at the California Capital AirShow to ensure the event goes on as scheduled in October.
KCRA.com reports that air show near Sacramento is only one of two in the nation that are scheduled to have military jet performances this year. But in this case, that will mean an appearance by the Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds.
Since it's actually our money, perhaps the administration could take a little of the money spent on President Obama's vacations, and restore the Blue Angels. Even making Bo fly with the rest of the family could free up enough money for at least one air show.
It would be a nice gesture on his part to share some entertainment dollars with the downtrodden public, rather than just entertaining rich hangers-on like Beyoncé, Jay-Z, etc., etc.
I agree with the other comments...our government gives away billions to other countries in aid but they can't AID their own people! Local economies rely on the air show to generate revenue for local businesses!
The air show in Chicago really sucked this year. They say there were 1.7 million people that attended but I didn't see that many
Yet the waste continues. Something meaningful gets cut but vets still get screwed over at the VA, we still send plenty of money to other countries, and lastly and most importantly, lets not forget about the MIC, can't touch that sacred cow. Give them all we can and all they demand, no questions asked.
Thanks DC for consistently f'ng everything up because you act like children and can't work together. Do you damn jobs for a change!
I think its time
1. Dept. of Ed (this is a local issue not a federal govt. issue)
2. Dept of Energy (created during the peanut farmer admin to make us energy independent--hasn't done anything except build a huge federal bureaucracy)
3. EPA (Good idea originally, but nothing but a regulation mill instead of doing any real good ever since)
4. Dept. of HHS (Keep the FDA, but streamline it, and dump the rest of HHS especially that idiot, Sibelius)
5. Dept. of Commerce (No one knows what this department does! It's been superseded by OMB, Treasury and other duplicate agencies)
And then, BRING BACK THE ANGELS AND BIRDS!!!!
not an air show with them. Its hurting the community which often has a season for tourist to come an see the show. This is bad very bad
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