EL PASO, Texas - The Amigo Airsho is heading to the Santa Teresa Airport this year.
While the announcement won't officially be made until Thursday afternoon at a news conference, Karen Perez, the chairwoman of the board of the Dona Ana County Commissioners, told ABC-7 the move is a done deal.
Perez said the airshow will be in early October but will be a smaller version compared to past Amigo Airshos and will be more educational and oriented toward children.
The official announcement of the show's new location will be made at a news conference on Thursday afternoon.
Perez said they are still working on how to handle parking for this year's airshow because they will not have nearly as much parking as at Biggs Army Airfield, the site of the Amigo Airsho for the past 31 years. Federal budget cuts from the sequestration forced the Airsho to leave Biggs Army Airfield.
Perez added that the 2014 Amigo Airsho at the Santa Teresa Airport would be a full-blown airshow with the intention of keeping it there in the future. She did not specify how many years the contract would be for.
Santa Teresa Airport Manager Vernon Wilson told ABC-7 in June that they were working on a five-year deal to bring the Amigo Airsho to New Mexico, including Oct. 12-13 this year.
Wilson told ABC-7 in June that the current runway at Santa Teresa Airport is 9,500 feet long. They are also building another runway, a crosswind runway, which will be about 11,000 feet long, both of them capable of landing jets of all sizes.
"We have about 14 jets that are stationed here, so we're not a small podunk airport," Wilson said in June. "We are an airport with some standing and we are perfectly capable of handling the aircraft and I think we're capable of handling the crowds."
The Canadian Snowbirds are scheduled to perform at this year's Amigo Airsho, according to several airshow schedules.
Effect of Sequestration on Airshows Nationally
According to the International Council of Air Shows, since this spring, more than 60 military-supported air shows have been cancelled. The two most prominent air shows in the United States, AirPower over Hampton Roads, traditionally held at Langley Air Force Base, Va., and The Take to the Skies AirFest in Durant, Oklahama, were cancelled in May.
On March 23, 2013, the Under Secretary of Defense released a memorandum to
all military units regarding the localized impacts of sequestration. According to that document, all aerial demonstrations, including participation in civilian air shows, was to cease on April 1, 2013. Fort Bliss officials continued to plan for the 2013 Amigo Airsho in the event that sequestration was rescinded by the U.S. Congress.
In early April, Amigo Airsho officials told ABC-7 they would still be able to have the airshow in October as planned but the lineup was adjusted.
Amigo Airsho officials had announced in early February that the Air Combat Command's F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team from Langley Air Force Base would perform at the Amigo Airsho in October for the first time, along with the U.S. Golden Knights, among others.
Since early this Spring, the sequestration has led to the grounding of all military demonstration teams and the U.S. Golden Knights also have cancelled their 2013 schedule.