Las Vegas: Sequester grounds air shows, including Aviation Nation

Blame the sequester for the cancellation of popular air shows, including the long-running performance at Nellis Air Force Base in North Las Vegas, the home of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.

Aviation Nation, which routinely drew huge crowds to North Las Vegas, was to have been held Nov. 9 and 10.

“Due to the effect of the Budget Control Act of 2011 and associated sequestration, the defense budget cuts for fiscal year 2013 are approximately $46 billion by law and must be accomplished by October 2013,” Col. Barry Cornish, 99th Air Base Wing Commander at Nellis, said in a news release. “To meet this obligation, the U.S. Air Force has prioritized combat readiness over other activities, and air shows have been canceled as a result.”


The cuts mean the elimination of various military-hosted air shows around the country. Along with the Nellis AFB cancellation, events have also been cancelled at Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota, Langley AFB in Virginia, Luke AFB in Arizona and several others.

The Associated Press reports that the Thunderbirds, who wow crowds with their formation flying wherever they appear, have canceled all remaining public appearances for 2013. The Associated Press reported that the Army’s Golden Knights, an elite skydiving team, also had canceled the rest of their schedule.

Among the biggest events to go dark is the Cleveland National Air Show, which has been held each Labor Day weekend for the last three decades. The aerial display draws tens of thousands of visitors to the Lake Erie shore.

“Aviation Nation was a way for us to show people who normally don’t have the opportunity to see what we do here [at Nellis],” Cornish said in the statement. “It is my hope that we will be able to resume Aviation Nation in the near future.”

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