No plans to cancel Yuma Air Show, too
While Luke Air Force base announced Friday that it is canceling its upcoming air show due to military budget cuts, officials at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma say they are still planning to hold the annual Yuma Air Show next month.
“At this time we are moving forward,” said Capt. Staci Reidinger, director of public affairs for Marine Corps Air Station Yuma.
The Yuma Air Show, which draws tens of thousands of spectators, is scheduled to be held March 9, with Luke Air Force Base's show to have taken place the following weekend on March 16-17.
Reidinger said she attended a planning meeting for the Yuma Air Show on Thursday and that the possibility of canceling it was discussed, but nothing more. She added that the Air Force told MCAS Yuma that several aircraft scheduled as static displays will not be attending.
She quickly added that the list of cancellations does not include the F-22 Raptor, which is still supposed to be here.
According to the International Council on Air Shows (ICAS), Luke Air Force Base is just one of many military installations, from all four branches of service, that have canceled air shows and other public events as a way to meet deep, across-the-board government spending cuts that will go into effect next month unless Congress acts to prevent them.
In August 2011, President Obama signed into law the Budget Control Act, which forced lawmakers to decide how to resolve their bitter fight over raising the country's debt ceiling. The second round of those budget cuts go into effect March 1.
The ICAS reports on its website that the military's senior leadership is making contingency plans in the event politicians do not reach some agreement. Even though the military still hopes and expects to avoid those cuts, the ICAS says the air show professionals are developing contingency plans of their own to operate their air show businesses without the involvement of the U.S. military.
James Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.