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Article updated: 4/5/2013 8:30 AM

Sequester sparks Rockford air show cancellation

Two U.S. Navy Blue Angels execute a crossing maneuver at close range during the Miramar Air Show in San Diego last year.

Two U.S. Navy Blue Angels execute a crossing maneuver at close range during the Miramar Air Show in San Diego last year.

 

Associated Press file

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By Associated Press

ROCKFORD -- Chicago Rockford International Airport officials say they're postponing AirFest 2013 after the Blue Angels pulled out of the show.

The U.S. Navy's famous fliers were to be the headline act at the show June 1-2.

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Officials say the Blue Angels must put in a minimum number of practice hours before any airshow, but have stopped practicing due to federal budget cuts. The cancelled practices put their chances of performing at the Rockford show in doubt.

Airport director Mike Dunn says it was difficult to attract and retain sponsors and plan the show without a definite commitment from the Blue Angels.

Officials plan to move the show to Labor Day weekend and will evaluate other options. That includes reaching out to the aviation community for unique civilian displays and flight demonstrations.

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