Cleveland Air Show Wants Court Ruling

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A last-minute compromise allowed the Cleveland National Air Show to go ahead with a slightly amended evening air show last Friday despite a stadium TFR that was in place for a Cleveland Indians game being held next door. Organizers started the show at 5 p.m. and put all the civilian performers in the first half so that only military acts would be in the air when the TFR went into effect an hour before game time. Although it worked this time logistically, if not economically (those with tickets to weekend daytime performances got in free, those who bought tickets for Friday got passes to one weekend show), air show officials want the courts to rule (again) on the interpretation of the law in question. On Friday, a federal court refused to hear the air show's arguments. The law in question is Public Law 180-7, which prevents flights within three nautical miles and 3,000 feet AGL by aircraft not landing and taking off while under air traffic control. The only exceptions are for aircraft used for operational and security purposes at the game. Air show lawyer Jay Clinton Rice told the Duluth News Tribune air show organizers want a court ruling so they can make plans for future events without the vagaries of sports schedules fouling them up. But it's not just Cleveland that could be affected. John Cudahy, president of the International Council of Air Shows, said at least seven other major air shows could fall under the same legislation.