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Wed, Feb 27, 2013

ICAS Warns Of Effects Of Sequestration On Air Show Industry

Says Military Jet Demonstration Teams 'Touch Millions Of Lives' Through Appearances

Should automatic budget cuts go into effect Friday, it is highly likely that the air show schedules of the nation's two best-known jet demonstration teams ... the Navy's Blue Angels and the Air Force's Thunderbirds ... will be scrapped. The International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) says that not only could that affect attendance at many shows, it would mean the loss of a valuable connection to the millions of civilians that come out to see them perform every year.

According to an ICAS news release, last year, more than 13 million Americans attended an air show. Hundreds of air shows are held every year in the United States, featuring world-class entertainment and bringing significant economic impact – sometimes tens of millions of dollars – to local communities. These family-friendly events are being threatened this year by President Obama and Congress’ sequestration budget cuts.

The sequestration portion of the 2011 Budget Control Act mandates $500 billion in across-the-board defense spending cuts during the next ten years. There is a growing consensus among congressional leaders that legislatively-mandated budget cuts will not be averted, forcing the Pentagon to make severe budget cuts beginning March 1.

"Air shows are low-cost, patriotic, family-friendly events that support the local community, but also give us a chance to honor the men and women of our armed services," says John Cudahy, president of the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS). "Our country has difficult financial challenges to overcome, but these cuts are not the way to solve them. ICAS urges Congress and the White House to solve this problem another way and allow the military to continue touching millions of lives with their performances this year."

In 2012, air shows had a total direct economic impact of more than $450 million in 300 communities around the country. In addition, air shows throughout the country direct a portion of the proceeds generated by the events to approximately 4,000 different charities and philanthropies nationwide.

FMI: www.airshows.aero


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