Wed, Dec 04, 2013
Runway Expansion Project Would Mean Closing The Airport During The Performances
Organizers of the Fort Lauderdale Air Show say the event has been canceled for 2014, but the reasons are different from so many other air show cancellations announced this year.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is in the midst of a runway expansion project, and airport officials said that they would have to cancel all flights into and out of the airport during the show's performances. But the south Florida Sun Sentinel reports that the organizers expect to have an air show in 2015.
This is just the latest setback for the show over the past two years. It began in 2012 after the Air & Sea Show folded up its tent in 2007. But the two-day show was shortened to one day in that inaugural year, and in 2013, the Air Force Thunderbirds were forced to cancel their appearance just weeks before they were set to perform. The show went on without its headline act.
Now it's runway construction, which is the reason for the complete cancellation of the event.
Organizers, however, say that it is only a temporary setback, and one that the show can easily survive. Brian Lilley, the president of the organization that puts on the show, says that Fort Lauderdale is a "marquee destination. We can get and we've been able to get the best of the best of what's available to fly."
The primary problem is the air show box intersects the main runway. When there was a secondary runway available, all flights were directed there. But with only one currently usable, flights would have to be suspended not only during the show, but during practice sessions as well.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler said it was not feasible to move the air show performances to the beach area, which is heavily residential. "Where are you going to put the crowds? Where are you going to put the traffic?" he said.
The new runway is slated to be completed in September of 2014.
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