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Big Homestead Air Show Rejected By Air Force

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F-16 Fighting Falcon 'Mako' from the 93rd Fighter Squadron takes off from the flightline at Homestead ARB.

F-16 Fighting Falcon ‘Mako’ from the 93rd Fighter Squadron takes off from the flightline at Homestead ARB.

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The world’s newest aircraft will not make a trip to Homestead next year, after the US Air Force rejected a plan to hold an commercial air show at the Homestead Air Reserve Base in 2011.

The Beacon Council, which had been pushing the Miami International Aerospace Show to help South Dade business development, revealed the Air Force decision Thursday.

Despite the county’s budget woes, Miami-Dade officials had agreed to spend more than $7 million to promote the show, which they had hoped would grow to global importance, much like the Paris air show.

The Paris show is the world’s preeminent marketplace for aircraft, and Miami-Dade would like to duplicate that success here.

The Air Force rejected the plan, which called for using air base runways, because they were concerned they would be setting a precedent. They didn’t completely ground the idea, though, inviting the Beacon Council to continue pursuing the idea for the future, a plan the Air Force said it would consider with ‘due deliberation’.

The Air Force responded to a request made by US Representative Ileana Ros Lehtinen, (R-Miami-Dade).

“While this news is disheartening because this project would’ve brought jobs to our community, I strongly believe that we have the right mix of private and public partners to develop a plan the Air Force will accept. We have just begun to fight,” she said in a statement.

“With the support from our entire Congressional Delegation and the industry, we will continue to push this project forward,” said Frank Nero, President of the Beacon Council. “This is too good an idea, and makes too much sense for our community, for it not to happen at the Homestead Air Force Reserve Base. We will continue to proceed, as long as we continue to have the support of our local, state and federal officials.”

The Miami International Aerospace Show is not a show for aviation fans, like the Air Force’s Wings Over Homestead event held in the past. That event brought fly-overs and aerobatic displays, while the Beacon Council’s event would have attracted aircraft sellers and buyers in an event more like a giant aviation trade show.

The Beacon Council wanted to combine the two events, a plan the Air Force apparently was not willing to accept.

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