HILL AIR FORCE BASE -- For the second time in three years, it appears the popular Hill Air Force Base Air Show will be cancelled.
After a successful show in the summer 2009 that drew more than 400,000 spectators, base officials announced in early January, the biennial air show would be back again in 2011.
The two-day show was set to take place Sept. 24-25, featuring the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the U.S. Army Golden Knights.
But because of budgetary constraints, the show will likely not be performed this year.
The cost of the show is typically shared by both Air Force appropriated funds and the Top of Utah Military Affairs Committee.
In a letter sent to the Standard-Examiner, members of TOUMAC said the money for the air show would be better spent on "issues involving quality of life for our airmen and an aging infrastructure in military plant and equipment," and it is "not practical to ask the Air Force to spend discretionary dollars on an event that takes hundreds of thousands of dollars to run, not to mention hundreds of man-hours to manage."
The letter was drafted by Kevin Ireland, Hill Open House chair, Robert Ekstrom, Top of Utah military affairs chair, Dave Hardman, president of the Ogden/Weber Chamber of Commerce, and Davis Chamber President Jim Smith.
But Col. Patrick Higby, 75th Air Base Wing commander, said a final decision hasn't been made yet by the base.
"Given the current economic environment, we're reassessing all of our avenues for funding the event and balancing this against other priorities," Higby said. "As soon as a final decision is made, we'll make that information known to the public."
The Davis Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau had yet to begin booking hotel rooms for the air show, since it was still in its "preliminary" stages, said Barbara Riddle, Davis CVB president and CEO.
"It is disappointing we won't have an air show (this year)," said Riddle, adding she supports the decision.
Riddle said she does look forward working with that group in the future in putting together a open house and air show in 2012.
Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton said $50,000 had been appropriated for the show from the state legislature.
Rep. Brad Dee, R-Washington Terrace, said that money will now go back into the general fund.