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Sun, Feb 20, 2022

Luke Airshow Cancelled

Luke AFB Shindig Pushed to 2024 Amid Rising Costs, Covid

Luke Air Force Base, a mainstay of the Arizona flight training scene, has announced the cancellation of the Luke Days air show scheduled for March.

In the announcement, the 56th Fighter Wing said that the change was due to a number of factors outside their control, but future shows are hoped to return. Due to logistical and economic strain, as well as COVID-19 challenges, base leadership deemed it in the best interest of all parties to cancel the 2022 show and looks forward to overcoming these issues for future events." 

The story is one that has been repeated all over the world, despite many prospective attendees feeling the worst of the pandemic has largely subsided. The virus continues to be invoked by management throughout the air show circuit as sufficient reason to cancel.

Luke's statement, however, openly admits an element of event planning that others do not: Rising costs throughout the economy, in everything from concessions to jet fuel, have added a significant cost burden for large venues, adding additional incentive to postpone things for another year or two and see where things lie. 

The 56th Wing's Commander, Brigadier General Gregory Kreuder, gave his condolences to would-be attendees. The flight training scene of Arizona has given aviation a particular cultural position in the state, meaning the loss of one of the year's biggest shows is all the more keenly felt in the community. "Our Airmen, alongside our community and corporate partners, have worked tirelessly over the past several months to plan a tremendous show that would excite and inspire future generations," said Kreuder. 

"We were really looking forward to showcasing airpower to the amazing communities who support Luke and our mission to train the world's greatest fighter pilots and combat-ready Airmen." 

"Unfortunately, due to ongoing supply chain issues, rising costs of products and services, and other related effects of COVID-19, I determined the best course of action was to cancel this year's show," said Kreuder. There is hope, however, that the show could return sooner than the next scheduled one. 

"Although the COVID-19 transmission rates are currently subsiding throughout our local community, the impacts are longer-lasting and simply did not diminish fast enough for us. This was a tough decision as we were all really excited to host what would have been an amazing event and thank those who we are honored to serve. We are normally on a 2-year cycle and our next scheduled show is in 2024; however, we will explore opportunities to host one earlier, if possible." 



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