No Airshow At Airport In 2019
AVOCA — An air show will not be held at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport in 2019.
Airport director Carl Beardsley announced at an airport board meeting this morning that the next air show will held in 2020 during the weekend of Aug. 22-23.
For months, he said airport officials have been working with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to seek permission to close parts of the turnpike near the airport to allow for the renowned U.S. Navy Blue Angels to perform during Memorial Day weekend in 2019.
The expected heavy Memorial Day holiday traffic prevented any turnpike closures during that time, however, Beardsley said.
“Traffic concerns during the busy holiday weekend, especially near the Pennsylvania turnpike, created concerns with the Turnpike Commission,” he said. “There is an aerial box that’s located over the runway and the areas that surround the runway must be clear while the jets are performing. For us, portions of that aerial box included the turnpike from the Wyoming Valley to Clarks Summit, which would need to be cleared.”
The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, was to be the main attraction of the 2019 NEPAirshow, which was going to be held earlier than the normal August time frame due to their availability.
The performances, however, required air and ground space in the vicinity of the turnpike near the airport to be closed certain times that weekend.
Beardsley said they understand the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s position but “are disappointed for sure.”
“Fortunately, we have worked out a plan for August 2020 that will make the next air show an incredible spectacle,” he said. “We have been informed by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds that they plan to participate in NEPAirshow 2020 as well.”
For the complete story, read The Citizens’ Voice on Friday.