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Sat, Aug 28, 2004

Cleveland National Air Show May Be Cancelled

FAA TFR's and waiver obstacles jeopardize future of Cleveland's annual air show

Looks like the consequences of 9/11 are still taking their toll on aviation. This time it is the Cleveland National Air Show that is being affected, and the culprit is homeland security airspace restrictions over baseball stadiums.

The problem appears to lie with changes made to the procedures to obtain a waiver to operate aircraft near stadiums during game days. Airshow officials have in the past had no problems obtaining a waiver to run the yearly Labor Day event, which coincides with Cleveland Indians home games at Jacobs Field.

This time, though, organizers say they may have to cancel the first day of the airshow if they can't get the waiver. In fact, because future game schedules are still up in the air, the airshow organizers are expressing doubts that the show may have any kind of a future.

"Last year we were under the same circumstances and we got our waiver from the FAA with no problem," organizer Ann Gynn told Newsday. "So this year, when we found out we weren't going to get it in the exact same way, it was a bit of a shock, that's for sure."

The Cleveland National Air Show has been an annual Labor Day tradition at the city for the last 40 years, and it is responsible for pumping an estimated $5 million a year into the local economy.

FMI: www.clevelandairshow.com

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