Comox Valley Air Show hits some turbulence

Takeoff might be delayed, but those involved in planning this year's Comox Air Show hope they will be greeted by clear skies.

Takeoff might be delayed, but those involved in planning this year’s Comox Air Show hope the remainder of planning will be greeted by clear skies.

In a letter to Comox council Wednesday, 19 Wing Commander Col. Jim  Benninger explained the base is currently awaiting a tiered approval process and final decision by the Minister of National Defence (MND).

He added that days after the October 2012 air show sponsorship drive began, the Government of Canada unveiled a new Treasury Board policy redefining the process for public funds expenditures on events.

Benninger noted he is anticipating a positive response from the MND. He and the organizing committee are continuing with the air show planning, but must hold on financial commitments until they receive formal approval for the event.

A second factor involves recently introduced fiscal constraints within the Department of National Defence and the United States Department of Defense (DOD), said Benninger.

He said while the impacts are being analyzed, but the possible loss of DOD/Air Force participation could be offset by additional civilian performers.

“While planning for the air show continues, fiscal commitments are on hold,” he noted, and said these factors are why the official launch of the show, which was scheduled for around the beginning of April, are delayed.

The Comox Air Show is scheduled for Aug. 17 at 19 Wing Comox, marking the return of the event to the area since it was most recently staged in 2005.

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