Page 10 - World Airshow Autumn 2020
P. 10


                                                               Drive-in airshows like the Bell Fort Worth Alliance Air Show (left, photo by Gary
                                                               Daniels) and beach shows like the OC Airshow (right, photo by Greg Meland)
                                                               may help pave a safe path to hold airshows in 2021 during the ongoing
        Airshows Slowly Return                                 COVID-19 pandemic.

          The 2020 airshow season has certainly been unlike any other.   Show was also scheduled to be held beachfront on November 21-
        The  COVID-19  pandemic  forced  state  and  local  governments   22. Three other Florida events, the Lockheed Martin Space and
        from coast-to-coast to restrict mass gatherings, effectively shut-  Air Show, October 31-November 1 at the Orlando Sanford Inter-
        ting down the 2020 airshow season. As summer transitioned to   national Airport; the Stuart Air Show on November 7-8; and the
        fall, however, improvement in the public health situation in some   Sun ‘n Fun Holiday Flying Festival and Car Show (scheduled for
        parts of the country, coupled with some creativity from airshow   December 4-5) were more traditional airport airshows, but with
        producers, allowed a few airshows to return to the skies.  COVID-19 public health protocols in place.
          As we reported in the Summer issue of World Airshow News,   The big question as the 2020 season wraps up is “what will
        the first post-lockdown, socially distanced airshow took place   2021 look like?” A lot will depend on how the public health
        over a large reservoir in Mabank, Texas, about 75 miles southeast   situation evolves over the winter and into next spring, but
        of Dallas, on July 4. Later in July, what may have been the world’s   the  determined and  innovative  airshows  that  did  hold  their
        first drive-in airshow was held at F.E. Warren AFB in Cheyenne,   events in 2020 may help lead the way for how airshows can
        Wyoming. Wings over Warren pushed forward with the USAF   be conducted during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
        F-22, F-35, and A-10 demo teams; a flyover by a B-1 Lancer;
        and the Wings of Blue parachute team from the U.S. Air Force
        Academy.                                                PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE:
           The drive-in airshow concept had been the subject of an on-
        line seminar sponsored by the International Council of Airshows
        (ICAS) earlier in the year, so as the summer turned toward fall,   2021 SECAS Summit
        more and more airshows decided to try the drive-in approach.
        On August 29-30, Orange County Airport in New York hosted   The Southeast Council of Air Shows (SECAS) and JLC Air-
        the New York International Air Show, North America’s first large   Show Management have announced that the second annual SE-
        civilian drive-in airshow. Spectators watched the USAF Thun-  CAS Summit will be held on March 18-21, 2021 at the Russell
        derbirds, F-22 Raptor, and F-35 Lightning II from private car-  Regional Airport in Rome, Georgia. In addition to the sum-
        side viewing boxes. Over Labor Day weekend, the Tri-Cities Wa-  mit, a new and innovative airshow training camp program will
        ter Follies airshow in Pasco, Washington also used the drive-in   be included. This will be the first time a regional organization
        format.                                                will combine an annual meeting with airshow ground and flight
           Elsewhere in this issue, we have full reports on four other re-  training. Airshow performers, demonstration teams, air bosses,
        cent drive-in airshows – Airshow London SkyDrive in Ontario,   announcers, FAA (FSDO) members, and event organizers are
        Canada on September 12-13, Wings Over Houston on October   invited to attend.
        10-11, the Bell Fort Worth Alliance Air Show in Texas on Octo-  “Our first summit was a great success. Following an airshow
        ber 17-18, and Wings Over North Georgia in Rome on October   season of COVID-related issues, we’re especially excited to begin
        24-25.                                                 2021 with a fresh start and expanded content,” said SECAS Presi-
           Drive-in shows were not the only way to hold an airshow.   dent Greg Gibson.
        The OC Airshow was held on August 15-16 over the Ocean City,   The airshow training camp is jointly organized by Air Boss,
        Maryland beaches, allowing spectators to set up their own social-  Inc. and JLC AirShow Management. The camp will focus on
        ly distanced viewing areas. At press time, the Fort Lauderdale Air   ground training, flight training, airshow showmanship, and best

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