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Fate of 2014 Air Show up in the air

The future of the 2014 Oregon International Air Show is uncertain following the unexpected cancellation of all Canadian Forces Snowbirds Jet Team shows in America because of budget cuts.

The Snowbirds had been announced as the headlining act.

According to air show President Judy Willey, the board of directors has been discussing whether to proceed with the show set for Sept. 19 to 21 since the announcement was made several days ago. She says the 17-member board has a retreat planned next week, during which the situation will be discussed and a decision will likely be made and announced.

"We should know something for sure within a week or so," says Willey.

Factors include the likelihood of finding a replacement headlining act that will attract large enough crowds to pay for the overhead.

"We are disappointed that the Snowbirds are unable to come to Oregon this year," said Willey. "We want to put on a world-class event for our great air show fans but right now we just need to regroup and discuss the possibilities of building a show this year that is highly entertaining, family-friendly, profitable, and safe."

Willey insists that even if the air show cancels this year, it will be held again in 2105.

"The air show is not going away, no matter what happens this year," says Willey.

Willey says a military stunt team always boosts attendance and the board is currently exploring several options. The U.S. Navy Blue Angles and U.S.A.F. Air Force Thunderbirds teams are already fully booked this year, although cancellations are not uncommon. Any cancellation would have to coincide with good flying weather at the Hillsboro Airport, however, where the show is always staged.

The show traditionally attracts between 58,000 and 90,000, depending on the draw of the headlining act. It was scheduled at the same weekend as the Washington County Fair last year toy accommodate the Blue Angels, which was controversial. The Navy jet team cancelled because of budget cuts after it was too late to change the schedule. They were replaced by the Patriots Jet Team.

All profits from the Oregon International Air Show benefit local charities and non-profit organizations. Since 1988, more than 475 local organizations have received more than $1.3 million in donations from the air show.