Air shows draw thousands of people and generate millions of dollars for local economies. The military grounded its jet and demonstration teams because of automatic federal budget cuts this year, so many shows have been cancelled.
In the past years, the air shows biggest crowd drawers have been the military’s two elite jet teams, the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force’s Thunderbirds. The military also had provided F-16, F-18 and F-22 fighter jets and the U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights. All the teams were grounded As of April 1 all the teams were grounded to save money.
The cutbacks Affected more than 2/3 of the roughly 300 events held in the United States each year. John Cudahy president of the International Council of Air Shows predicted 15 percent to 20 percent of the shows won’t return next year, even if the military begins participating again.
“The worst case is that they either, cancel and go out of business, or they don’t cancel and they have such poor attendance and they go out of business,” he said.
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