South Florida Event Would Have Targeted Major Aviation Companies
In an effort to draw major aviation companies and potential buyers to south Florida, Miami-Dade's Beacon Council sent a request to the Air Force for the use of the runway at Homestead AFB for a commercial aviation expo. The purpose of the event was to bring potential buyers from all over the Western Hemisphere to south Florida, where the companies would show off their airplanes.
The Air Force said "No."
The taxpayer-funded economic development organization appealed that answer up the chain of command to the Pentagon.
The answer ... this time from Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (pictured), came back "No."
The Miami Herald reports that in a letter dated May 30th, Panetta said “As you know, the Department is facing a difficult budget environment,’’ Panetta wrote in a May 30 letter that arrived at the Beacon Council’s Miami office on Friday. “While your goal is undoubtedly worthwhile, we are simply not in a position to devote resources in playing a central role in a commercial endeavor of this nature.”
Beacon Council president Frank Nero said the letter was confusing, since most of the expo was planned for county-owned property adjacent to the base. The site is being touted by Donald Trump as a possible production facility. Nero said he did not think the government would incur any cost as a result of the expo.
The decision does not affect the Homestead Air Show