A Marine Corps air show that draws crowds of 750,000 every year has been cancelled the day before it was scheduled to begin.
Officials with Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., announced Thursday morning that the Miramar Air Show, set to start Friday, could not be held during the federal government shutdown, according to regulation.
“Guidance from the Deputy Secretary of Defense mandates that non-excepted activities, including outreach events, are not authorized under the current shutdown guidelines,” air station officials said in a statement. “We want to thank everyone involved in the air show for their hard work, dedication and patience during such a period of fiscal duress and we look forward to this annual event to take place next year.”
In July, air show organizers announced that the air show would not include any military flights or aerial demonstrations, including the Navy’s world famous demonstration team the Blue Angels, due to sequestration budget cuts.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Republican whose district includes the air station, wrote to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to demand rationale for removing federal support for an event that reportedly brought in revenue every year. According to information obtained by UT San Diego, the air show cleared $1.6 million in profits last year, which helped fund community programs.
Ultimately, the air station announced it would move forward with a shortened air show featuring civilian pilots and aircraft and static ground displays.
Just two days ago on Oct. 1, the first day of the government shutdown, Miramar issued a news release promoting the altered air show, which was to include a 5K “fun run” and Dusty, the Disney plane.
Air station officials said they apologized for an inconvenience the last-minute cancellation had on air show sponsors and members of the San Diego community.