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Federal budget cuts force cancellation of KC Air Show

Updated: 2013-04-14T05:25:09Z

By MARÁ ROSE WILLIAMS

The Kansas City Star

This year’s Kansas City Air Show has become the latest victim of federal budget cuts called sequestration.

Earlier this week the U.S. Navy canceled the rest of the popular Blue Angels season because of automatic federal budget reductions. U.S. Air Force leaders announced that it would focus its financial resources on units supporting major missions such as the war in Afghanistan, while other units would be ordered to stand down on a rotating basis.

The Navy grounded the Blue Angels aerobatics team because federal budget cuts put an end to military support for the air show industry, including the U.S. Army Golden Knights and military static aircraft, both also scheduled to be at the Kansas City show.

“We are extremely disappointed in having to cancel this year’s show, but the economics are not there without the support of the United States military aircraft,” Ed Noyallis, director of the KC Air Show, said in a statement Saturday.

The military cutbacks are negatively affecting as many as 350 air shows across the country. The air show cancellations also hurt civilian air show performers, food and novelty vendors, and exhibitors that make their living working at the shows.

Air show officials said the direct economic effect of the cancellation in the Kansas City area is more than $2 million. The show, produced by the Mid-America Youth Aviation Association, draws attendance from more than 50 miles away.

People who bought air show tickets online should look to receive a refund in coming weeks. The show had been scheduled for Aug. 24-25.

To reach Mará Rose Williams, call 816-234-4419 or send email to mdwilliams@kcstar.com.

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