02/04/13 — Air show plan getting look

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Air show plan getting look

By From staff reports
Published in News on February 4, 2013 1:46 PM

Wayne County will still have an air show this May, despite concerns that potential Washington-ordered budget cuts would ground the annual event.

4th Fighter Wing Commander Col. Jeannie Leavitt told event planners this morning to push forward with preparations for Wings Over Wayne 2013.

In a statement prepared by members of the colonel's Public Affairs team, Col. Leavitt said community concerns were the main reason for her decision.

"Plans for the 2013 Wings Over Wayne Open House and Air Show are ongoing," the statement read. "The base has taken current fiscal constraints and economic climate closely into account, and we are committed to being good stewards of our resources as preparations for an outstanding community event continue. Our relationship with the surrounding community is nothing short of impressive, as we rely on each other during our successes and struggles alike. The support we are receiving to carry on with this biennial event is spectacular. We will put our best efforts forward to ensure a fantastic, fiscally responsible and family-friendly event as our way of reciprocating the community's unwavering support of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base."

The air show, an event that typically pumps millions in tourism dollars into the local economy, is scheduled for May 18-19 -- and will feature, among other acts, the Navy Blue Angels.

Concerns had been expressed by members of the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base community as well as some in the Pentagon that plans for an air show in this current economy, with the threat of pending defense cuts, would not be fiscally responsible or possible.