DOD conflicts cause 2016 Airfest cancellation

From Chicago Rockford International Airport

The Chicago Rockford International Airport announced today it is canceling the 2016 Rockford AirFest due to scheduling conflicts with the Defense Department (DOD) and F-22 jet teams.

“We had successfully scheduled the U.S. jet teams to be in Rockford the first weekend in June, said Mike Dunn, Executive Director of the Chicago Rockford International Airport.

“We then learned the DOD was rescheduling the main military flying teams to participate in academy week, a time of year when the Defense Department and the military honor graduating seniors from the military academies.”

RFD was then offered Memorial Day weekend as an option. However, RFD chose not to compete with the Young at Heart Festival in Loves Park, Ill.  It was then suggested that RFD could move the AirFest to the third weekend in June, with the F-22 Raptor as the headline performer.

Following that offer, the F-22 Raptor was removed from consideration for Rockford.

“Hosting AirFest is a huge undertaking and expense for the airport,” said Dunn. “We know this is a very popular event for people in Rockford and the Midwest and we’re exceptionally disappointed.  The Airport has already begun planning for and hosting Rockford AirFest in 2017 and we look forward to making that event the best one yet.”

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