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July 3, 2015

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Budget ax falls on Aviation Nation air show at Nellis


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Attendees walk out of the belly of a C5A Galaxy during the annual Aviation Nation air show at Nellis Air Force Base Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012.

Updated Tuesday, March 26, 2013 | 3:18 p.m.

2012 Aviation Nation

The Air Force Thunderbirds perform during the annual Aviation Nation air show at Nellis Air Force Base Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Aviation Nation 2011

An Air Force F-22 Raptor is seen on display during Aviation Nation Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 at Nellis Air Force Base. Launch slideshow »

Aviation Nation, an annual fixture that draws thousands of people to Nellis Air Base, is the latest victim of federal budget cuts..

Col. Barry Cornish, 99th Air Base wing commander, announced cancellation of the event, which had been scheduled this year for Nov. 9-10.

"Aviation Nation is a very popular event for our community, and I deeply regret our inability to host a Nellis Open House this year," Cornish said in a news release.

He said cuts totaling $46 million had been ordered throughout the Air Force with a priority of combat readiness over other activities, “and air shows have been canceled as a result."

Additionally, the military’s support of and participation in all trade shows, flyovers, orientation flights, heritage flights, F-22 demonstration flights and open houses have been canceled.

"The Las Vegas community has provided phenomenal support to Nellis AFB and its airmen, and Aviation Nation was a way for us to show people who normally don't have the opportunity to see what we do here. It is my hope that we will be able to resume Aviation Nation in the near future," Cornish said in his statement.

Aviation Nation, which has been touted as the largest free public event in Nevada, annually has drawn upwards of 100,000 spectators from around the world on Veterans Day weekend to Nellis.

Nellis Air Base is home to the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center, 57th Wing, 99th Air Base Wing, Nevada Test & Training Range, elements of the 53d Wing and 505th Command and Control Wing, as well as more than 52 tenant units and agencies.

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  1. Chunky says:

    He made a little money working Aviation Nation for an outside vendor in the past and is grateful for it.

    However, if it's costing taxpayers and it is non-essential then it's gotta go!

    Don't confuse must haves with want to haves.

    Balance the federal, state and local budgets just like we have to do in the Chunks family.

    That's what Chunky thinks!

  2. For an outlay of $300,000 the community brought in $19 Million.

    If they had asked one of the Major Casinos I am betting they would have paid the 300k for the show to go on.

    There will be people both on and off base that will become unemployed because of this decision.

    Must have? No but it effects many more things than just watching planes fly by.