San Diego City Council calls on Pentagon to save Miramar Air Show

Air show scheduled for Oct. 4-6

SAN DIEGO - The San Diego City Council unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday calling on the Defense Department to support the Miramar Air Show this fall.

Dozens of air shows have been scrubbed around the country this year, the result of automatic federal spending cuts from sequestration.

According to a city report, the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar has not received permission from the Pentagon to host the 58th annual air show, which is scheduled for Oct. 4-6. The air show attracts about a half-million people over its three days and is linked to $17 million in direct and indirect spending, according to the report.

Councilwoman Lorie Zapf, who introduced the resolution, said the city needed to be "proactive and not reactive in trying to keep something that's not just entertainment or tradition, but has a huge economic impact to our community here in San Diego."

Kimberley Miller, a military spouse, and Larry Blumberg, executive director of the San Diego Military Advisory Council, said profits from the air show fund wellness and quality-of-life programs like child care at the base for service members and their families. The funding would be lost if the air show was canceled, they said.

No military officials spoke.

"I want to make sure that the city of San Diego, this City Council, has weighed-in decisively so the folks back in Washington know that we want to maintain our air show for all the benefits that were mentioned, for the Marine Corps, for San Diego, for our families, our military families," council President Todd Gloria said.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was likely to decide soon whether the air show will go on, according to Zapf.

Also, a pending Senate version of the 2014 Defense Authorization Act includes language that requires the Pentagon to consider resuming support of air shows.

The vote was 7-0, with council members Marti Emerald and Mark Kersey absent.

The council also unanimously approved a bike rental program offered by DecoBike LLC, which will make 1,800 bicycles available at various locations around San Diego.

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