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Air show report weighs repeat shows, details
Officials think second event will increase crowd, profits
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Officials are still totaling up numbers from last weekend's air show, but they've already deemed it a success and have begun planning for an even better event next year.
The after-action report for the show will include Liberty County's decision on whether or not to hold another air show and, if so, what changes should be made.
A detail the report may consider, for example, was the $12 admission ($10 for soldiers and their families), which some officials and attendees have said was too expensive.
The committee will balance possibly lowering the admission with the relatively high cost of producing such a comprehensive event. Committee members who studied other air shows said the admission cost of Liberty County's was in the average range.
County Administrator Joey Brown said air shows typically have tremendous growth in their second year. The Vidalia air show, an offshoot of the onion festival, more than doubled its attendance in its second year.
Another consideration is the attention an annual air show will draw to the new and relatively unknown MidCoast Regional Airport at Wright Army Airfield. As the airport becomes better known among pilots, more will choose to use it, purchasing fuel and using hangars.
This will generate income needed to eventually make the airport pay for itself. The Joint Management Board, which runs the airport, has never projected the facility as a revenue source, but they're optimistic that it will require little or no subsidy after startup.
"The air show will definitely pay dividends down the road," Brown said.
"My hat is off to the planning committee," Brown said, "We could never have held the show without the tremendous volunteer assistance we got.
"We are also fortunate in that our fixed base operator, Airport Business Solutions, one of the world's largest, had the expertise that allowed us to have the show."
Bobbi Thompson, air show impresario for ABS, has operated sizable air shows all over the world.
The air show planning committee included Brown, Laura Troutman, Sara Swida, Dave Sapp, Kenny Smiley, Cindye Jones, Kim Thomas, Sandra Martin, Terri Willett, Mark Davidson, Bob Sprinkel, John McIver, Jim Thomas and Billy Edwards.
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