Sequestration All Over Again: Looming 2020 Budget Cuts May Ground Blue Angels, Other Military Demonstrations

posted in: Jet Teams, Military | 0

US Navy Blue Angels - AirshowStuff

Without action from Congress, the Navy could be forced to cancel the Blue Angels’ 2020 airshow season according to a report delivered to lawmakers by Navy Secretary Richard Spencer. The report explores the would-be fallout of potential sequestration budget cuts that are set to go into effect in January of 2020.

Although the Blue Angels are probably the highest profile impact mentioned, the cuts would have strong impact throughout the military. The US Air Force’s contingency report has not been publicized, but it is almost certain that performances by the USAF Thunderbirds and other military demonstration teams would similarly be eliminated or severely reduced should this scenario play out.

While these cuts can be avoided as long as Congress acts prior to the January 2020 deadline, airshow fans know all too well that that can’t be counted on. In 2013, sequestration cuts did go into effect. The military teams were forced to abandon their scheduled plans and many airshows across the country struggled or canceled outright after losing the popular acts. It took years for a number of popular demonstrations to return, and some are still not back to pre-cut levels. It’s safe to say that the airshow industry as a whole is eager to see a second “lost season” prevented as soon as possible.

The timing of the cuts is also interesting, because the Blue Angels are expected to transition to flying the F/A-18 Super Hornet in the next few years. We already noted that their preliminary 2020 schedule ends about a month earlier than usual. The common assumption is that this would provide extra time to practice in the new aircraft before the 2021 season begins. There is no mention in the report of how the transition might be impacted should the cuts come to pass.

ATC Privatization Threatens The Airshow Community

posted in: Miscellaneous | 2

ATC Privatization Threatens the Airshow Community

Pending legislation in Congress would pose a threat to the airshow community.

If this legislation becomes law, authority for managing airspace in the US would be transferred from the US Government to a nonprofit board, disproportionately made up of airline representatives and other officials with financial ties to the airlines.

This form of ATC privatization is a bad idea and will create significant challenges for airshow event organizers and performers if it becomes law, including increased prices, difficulty getting airspace access, and a host of other problems that would make airshows more expensive and more difficult to organize. Some shows might even go out of business entirely.

This poses a threat to the airshows we all love and support. The time has come to act. The International Council of Airshows (ICAS) and airshow performers are encouraging airshow fans to contact their local congressmen or congresswoman and express their concerns.

Call 855-265-9002 to be connected to a switchboard which can then connect you to your local representative.

You can also find the name and contact information for your congressman or congresswoman by clicking here. You may write your own email message or letter to your congressional representative, or you can use one of several different sample letters that ICAS has generated for this purpose here, here, here, here, here, and here. If you’d prefer to call your congressional representative, that’s helpful too. If you would like to educate yourself on the elaborate fictions the airlines and other advocates for this scheme have constructed to promote the idea, click here.