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Thu, Sep 28, 2023

Federal Shut-Down Threatens Late-Season Airshows

The Consequences of Fiscal Irresponsibility

According to media reports and sources within the U.S. federal government, Congress is not likely to approve a Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) spending bill prior to the Sunday, 01 October beginning of the new fiscal year.

The International Council of Air-Shows (ICAS)—the Virginia-based organization dedicated to building and sustainment of a vibrant air show industry—has issued an advisory setting forth the imminent closing of the egregiously-abused federal cash-pipeline will likely impact U.S. air-shows slated to take place in October and November 2023.

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has given informal, preparatory direction to its personnel. Subject guidance sets forth that—should Congress fail to ratify a new federal budget by midnight of Saturday, 30 September—aircraft and personnel contracted to perform in 01 October air-shows. Human and aircraft assets will be directed to return to their bases of operation on Sunday morning, prior to arrival of air-show audiences. In the event a federal budget is subsequently approved, military aircraft and personnel will be permitted, immediately, to resume their participation in U.S. air-shows.

Moreover, military air shows scheduled for October and early November 2023 will not proceed unless, or until, Congress approves an FY24 budget or a short-term extension. Performers and vendors taking part in military air-shows are reminded to consult their personal contacts prior to making decisions pertaining to their involvement in such events as edicts and conventions may differ from base to base.

Additionally, it should be noted that the Federal Aviation Administration’s ability to provide the full-spectrum of its functions remains uncertain. Waivers approved for air shows slated to be held over the weekend of 30 September through 01 October will remain in effect and valid. Provided waivers have been approved by the FAA and received by air-show organizers, the anticipated lack of FAA monitors/inspectors occasioned by a federal governmental shutdown will not, ostensibly, impact the undertaking of air shows. It is possible, however—perhaps even likely—that work on waiver applications (by FAA personnel) will cease in the event Congress fails to approve an FY24 budget or temporary extension by midnight Saturday. The International Council of Air-Shows encourages the organizers of air shows scheduled to take place in October and early November 2023 to immediately check with their respective IICs for purpose of determining whether final approvals of unprocessed waiver applications might be expedited and completed prior to close-of-business on Friday, 29 September 2023.

By way of definition, the abbreviation IIC denotes Inspector In Charge. IICs serve as FAA focal points for air-show sponsors and performers, liaising with the broader FAA as required on behalf of such.

To better explain the impact of a federal shut-down on the U.S. air-show community, the ICAS has been, and remains, in contact with U.S. military, regulatory, and elected officials. Stakeholders in the aviation and air-show sectors are encouraged to reach out to their respective Congressional representatives and urge them to act in a manner consistent with the best long-term interests of these United States.

FMI: https://airshows.aero

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