Airshow to return to Truckee
October 26, 2006
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No. Really, it’s a plane, an upside-down plane.
The birth of a homegrown airshow at the Truckee Tahoe Airport is in the works for next summer, and planners are optimistic the event will strengthen community and airport relations.
An ad-hoc committee comprised of airport board members, Airport Community Action Team (ACAT) members and community members pitched the idea to the airport’s board Thursday with plan for a “simple and fun” family event.
“We want to keep it simple, so everything we do toward putting on the show will be measured against the theme of a homegrown airshow,” said Charlie White, acting chair of the airshow’s ad-hoc committee.
The six-member committee that has been researching the feasibility of the show proposed a day of festivities, with a schedule to possibly include a community breakfast, children’s games, an airplane parade, air events and demonstrations from local participants.
“We really went ’round and ’round on the purpose of this airshow, and the purpose is to give back and to link the community with the airport,” said committee member Rob Lober. “The point is to say, ‘Oh man, that’s my neighbor, and that’s the plane he flies.’ It’s about bringing the town together more. It’s all about local pilots and what they’re doing.”
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Costs to hold the airshow have been estimated at less than $20,000, dependent upon sponsors, donations and the cost of fuel, rentals and concessions. But revenue for the airport is likely to be minimal or zero because the board would like proceeds to go back into the community.
“It’s not a money-making event. This is not to bring tourists in. This is for the community,” Lober said.
The proposed airshow is not a new concept to the Truckee Tahoe Airport, though the vision for the event is decidedly different than in years past.
A larger, more flamboyant airshow was held at the airport between 1974 and 1996, but fizzled as a result of high costs ” nearly $75,000 a year ” and politics, according to pilot and long-time Truckee resident Robert Todd.
“The Air Force came by with F-16s a couple of times; the Marine Corp. came out with a couple of Vietnam-era helicopters, and there were privately owned old war birds,” Todd said.
The event was popular and attended by thousands, Todd said.
And now, more than a decade later, Truckee residents are saying they are ready for more.
“When the airport surveyed the community, even the folks who are not in favor of the airport were asking about when we were going to start an airshow again,” Todd said. “Even the people who were very vocal about noise issues were still talking about the airshow.”
Truckee’s homegrown airshow has been scheduled for Saturday, June 23, 2007. Community members interested in sponsoring the airshow or volunteering their time should contact Charlie White at 587-4811.