Headlines > News > Mojave Airport cancels air show

Mojave Airport cancels air show

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Fri Jul 22, 2005 5:05 pm
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By ALLISON GATLIN, Valley Press Staff Writer; MOJAVE – Citing operational conflicts and funding difficulties, organizers have cancelled the Kern County AirShow scheduled for the Mojave Airport in the fall and instead will focus efforts on presenting a rocket competition for middle school students.
“Operational and financial conflicts contributed to our reluctant decision to postpone this year’s event,” said East Kern Airport District General Manager Stu Witt. “We will plan an event which will be more compatible with current tenants, the local community and visitors.”

“Our efforts to expand facilities at the nation’s first commercial spaceport involve a number of construction projects that demand the full attention of our staff at this time. Over the next six months we will be lengthening our main runway, upgrading our water system and upgrading parking,” he said.

The air show originally was scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 21.

“Midweek is not a good fit at Mojave,” Witt said, citing the adverse impact on airport tenants’ operations.

Financial support from outside the airport district also was found lacking, running about $50,000 short.

“We wanted to make this an event that would be free to those attending, which would require a level of financial support that was not achieved,” he said.

Instead of the air show, the airport’s focus in the fall will be on the Intermediate Space Challenge, a model-rocket competition for fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders in the Mojave Unified School District.

The airport presented the first competition in June. Its success led organizers to make it an annual event.

This year, the competition will be on Oct. 25. It was moved to the fall at the request of teachers involved, who found the exercise useful for team-building in their classrooms, Witt said.

The competition does not impact the airport in terms of interfering with operations or financially, but provides a tremendous benefit in inspiring the next generation of scientific and creative minds, he said.

This year’s cancellation does not preclude an event in the future, however. “When the timing’s right, we’re going to put on an air show,” Witt said.

Meanwhile, organizers are urging supporters to attend the Edwards Air Force Base Open House and Air Show on Oct. 22 and 23.

“We’re all going to rally ’round and support the Edwards air show,” Witt said.

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