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The Greater Rochester International Airport Airshow has been postponed until further notice.
The airshow promoter says federal budget cuts are to blame.
A recent memo from the Department of Defense said that all aerial demonstrations, including flyovers, jump team demonstrations and participation in airshows, would end if no budget deal was reached by April 1. Because of the sequestration cuts, the Department of Defense has decided to cut all non-essential training time for military pilots, which includes participating in airshows.
The United State Air Force Thunderbirds were set to be the main attraction at this year's airshow in Rochester. PEC Management Group, the organizers of the Rochester International Airshow, says without the Thunderbird's appearance the show would not have been a success.
"The main draw of an airshow of our size is the military jet teams," explained Peter Lawrence of PEC Management Group. "Without them we're taking a real chance. We would rather put on a first class show rather than doing a second class show-- one that wouldn't give all of our spectators what they expect."
According to Lawrence, the airshow draws about 50,000 people each year it's held.
Norm Isler of the Experimental Aircraft Association's Rochester chapter says it's disappointing to hear the airshow may be canceled. The EAA has attended and participated in many airshows in the region.
Some people believe that federal dollars shouldn't fund military airshows, but Isler says he doesn't agree.
"The thing you need to remember is that it's an amazing show to watch but what [The Thunderbirds] are doing is exhibiting the skills that they've honed to make the Army, the Navy and the Air Force the superpower that they are. The Thunderbirds and The Blue Angels serve a tremendous purpose. Of course, the training time training time for the aviators but it's also a tremendous recruiting tool."
PEC Management says they will give attendees 60 days notice if and when they are able to reschedule sometime this year.
The Rochester Airshow was scheduled for June 1 and 2.