Sequestration cuts have claimed another victim. The Navy’s stunt-flying team, the Blue Angels, has cancelled its remaining shows for 2013 due to those cuts.
The cancellation was announced today, and will affect over 30 shows that were planned through November of this year. This will save the Department of Defense between $20 and $25 million.
The Navy did release a statement explaining the particulars of why the shows were cancelled, saying “Recognizing budget realities, current Defense policy states that outreach events can only be supported with local assets at no cost to the government..” Obviously, most localities cannot afford to fuel and support jet fighter planes.
The Navy is following in the footsteps of the Air Force and Army. The Air Force’s own flying team, the Thunderbirds, and the Army’s parachute team, the Golden Knights, will not be performing this year as well.
The Blue Angels’ cancellation, the first since the Korean War era, is expected to seriously impact air shows across the country, who depended on them to bring in audiences. “The Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds are huge draws for our industry and when they don’t participate in an air show it not only hurts attendance — it makes it less than it was,” said John Cudahy, president of the International Council of Air Shows.
— Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPolitics Editor
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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