Indianapolis Air Show called off; organizers cite sequestration

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This year’s Indianapolis Air Show has been called off, event organizers said Tuesday, citing the potential impact of the federal government’s looming sequestration as the reason.

The air show was set for June 15-16 at Indianapolis Regional Airport near Mount Comfort east of Indianapolis. It has taken place annually since 1996 and draws up to 100,000 spectators.

The show’s executive committee made the decision to cancel this year’s event.

“Due to budget uncertainties resulting from the threat of sequestration and its impact on military participation at our show, all of which are beyond our control, we have been forced to make the very difficult decision to cancel the 2013 Indianapolis Air Show,” said Robert Duncan, chairman of the show’s executive committee, in a prepared statement.

About $85 billion in federal budget cuts are set to take effect Friday. The cuts were designed as a strategy to bring Democrats and Republicans to the negotiating table on a deficit-reduction plan. But without an agreement, the cuts, known as the sequester, are poised to take effect.

Air show organizers were not immediately available to comment on whether the event could be rescheduled if the federal government reaches a compromise by the end of the week.

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels had been scheduled to appear at the show, but military jet teams are grounded until further notice, and additional military support
for air shows also has been suspended.

Several other air shows throughout the nation have been canceled as well, Duncan said.

Proceeds from the event have resulted in more than $1.3 million being donated to local not-for-profits such as the Central Indiana Community Foundation, air show organizers said.

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