Military budget cuts could ground Navy's 'Blue Angels' unless Congress intervenes

Cuts would take effect March 1

INDIANAPOLIS - The Navy’s Blue Angels are a fan favorite at the Indianapolis Air Show, but if Congress doesn’t act by March 1 and spending cuts take effect, the military’s budget could take a hit, and that could ground the Blue Angels.

"We're not quite sure what this would actually mean," said Bob Duncan, the Indianapolis Air Show’s chairman.

Duncan is working to make sure the Air Show is still a success, no matter what happens in Washington, DC.

"Where they cancel military support be it the jet team like the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds or military flyovers, the industry will adjust to that like everyone has to adjust to changes," Duncan said.

He said organizers are looking at contingency plans like possibly adding some more attractions on the ground and more World War II aircraft. 

He said there have been years when the Blue Angels weren’t part of the Air Show and attendance did dip slightly.

"They're a significant draw," he said. "Any military jet is a significant draw. But they only do 30 shows a year out of 300 air shows that are produced each year."

While Congress debates, Duncan and his team plan for whatever might or might not take flight at this year’s Indianapolis Air Show.

"So we just wait and see whatever our elected officials do," Duncan said.

The Indianapolis Air Show is slated for June 15 and 16 at Indianapolis Regional Airport.


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