Department of Defense not allowing military flight demonstrations at 2013 Miramar Air Show

Show still scheduled for Oct. 4-6

SAN DIEGO - The military flight portion of this year's Miramar Air Show has been canceled due to sequestration-based spending cuts, MCAS Miramar officials announced Friday.

Base spokesman Capt. Anton T. Semelroth said the annual air show had not been officially canceled, but military flight acts -- which compose most of the show -- were not approved by the Department of Defense.

Base officials were looking into other options to either host an alternate show or another event, he said.

As of now, the show is scheduled for the weekend of Oct. 4-6.

The air station's commanding officer Col. John P. Farnam said the decision was disappointing because of the air show's long-standing tradition in the San Diego community.

"We always enjoy hosting our neighbors and highlighting our Marines and Sailors, showcasing the amazing things they do every day. But I also understand current budget restraints and the importance of being fiscally responsible," Farnham said. "Air show or not, I want to thank the San Diego community for always supporting us and making us feel at home."

City Councilwoman Lorie Zapf, who recently asked the council to adopt a resolution calling for the Defense Department to allow the annual air show to go on as scheduled, said she was disappointed.

"It is not just a blow to the regional economy, but a serious threat to the funding for military wellness programs, on-base childcare and other quality-of-life programs that provide critical support for our military families," Zapf said. "As we assess our options moving forward, my office will continue to help in any way we can."

The annual air show attracts about a half-million people over its three days and is linked to $17 million in direct and indirect spending, according a report presented to the city council earlier this week.

Sen. Marty Block, D-Lemon Grove, called the cancellation "another blow caused by sequestration," and "a tremendous disappointment across the region."

"While not as critical as cuts to federal education programs such as Head Start, college loan assistance or lost income due to furloughs, the cancellation again underscores that Congress must do its job and agree on a budget," Block said.

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