Following the near-cancellation of this year's Cleveland National Air Show, AOPA has been working with members of Congress to ensure that future airshows aren't in doubt. To that end, Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio), whose district includes Cleveland, introduced legislation (H.R. 5028) on September 8 that would allow the FAA to grant waivers for airshow performances that conflict with temporary flight restrictions over nearby professional or collegiate sporting events.
The issue developed after the Cleveland Air Show, which recently celebrated its fortieth anniversary at Burke Lakefront Airport, was refused a waiver for its Friday performances because of the nearby Cleveland Indians game. At issue was an interpretation of Public Law 108-7 that prohibits flight within three nautical miles of any Major League Baseball, National Football League, NCAA Division I football game, or major motor speedway event.
The airshow, which also commemorated the seventy-fifth anniversary of the National Air Races, ultimately modified its Friday night schedule with a free-of-charge event that ensured civilian acts were on the ground before the TFR over the baseball game went into effect. Military acts were permitted to fly during the baseball game.
"Airshows can be important events that highlight local airports and give people an up-close look at civil and military aviation" said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Many people develop their passion for flying after attending their first airshow."
AOPA continues to work with the entire Ohio congressional delegation, as well as other lawmakers, to gain support for the legislation.
September 14, 2004