F.A.A. Not Signing Waiver To Allow Annual Sky Show At Boshears Skyfest

The future of the popular, long running Augusta air show is up in the air.

Photo of planes performing at the Boshears Skyfest 2015.
Photo of planes performing at the Boshears Skyfest 2015.

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA – Stricter flying regulations have ended a decades long tradition.

For 23 years Daniel Field has been the site for the annual Boshears Skyfest, but on Friday it was announced that tradition will end. The Federal Aviation Administration is making a lot of changes to its department and because of new regulations the one-of-a-kind sky show won’t be allowed at Daniel Field this year or ever.

“Going into the future is there any possibility that the F.A.A. might resign the waiver?” asked WJBF News Channel 6’s Stefany Bornman.

“No.” Answered Augusta Aviation Vice President of Business Development Becky Shealy.

Each year, the Federal Aviation Administration has signed what’s called an aerobatics waiver, allowing Daniel Field to host the Boshears Skyfest, despite how close it is to populated areas. Now the F.A.A. has decided Daniel Field’s location is no longer an acceptable place to hold the family friendly weekend.

“We’ve had in the years past that we’ve had a waiver. The floor or the deck. The lowest an airplane can go to the ground is 400 feet because of our proximity to Daniel Village and at any other air show the floor is literally the ground,” the VP of Business Development said.

The rejection also comes this year because of new requirements by the F.A.A. regarding trees near the airport. “A lot of trees are penetrating the airspace,” added Shealy. The new process requires all trees in the way be cut down. Shealy says the sky show could be moved closer to Augusta Municipal Golf Course, but that option presents its own set of problems.

“It would totally change the logistics of the field of how we set up, where people would park and it just wouldn’t be a comfortable.. the spectators wouldn’t be able to see the show based on where we are and how they would want the aerobatics box to be set up.” Shealy told WJBF News Channel 6.

Although there won’t be a sky show this year event planners are exploring other options. Right now they want to have a bigger car show, a motorcycle show, and they also hope to offer airplane rides to patrons.
Augusta, GA (WJBF) – A popular annual event held at Daniel Field has seen its last takeoffs and landings at the airport.

Becky Shealy, of Augusta Aviation, tells us that changes to criteria established by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have “eliminated our ability to obtain an airshow waiver for Daniel Field”.

Shealy adds that the Boshears committee is “exploring other options which include an aviation weekend with airplane rides, carnival rides, a large car show and other family friendly activities to be held on the 3rd weekend in October. Details will follow as plans come together”.

The air show has been held for 23 years, bringing “world class aviators to the area” and enjoying an “exceptional safety record”.

“We greatly appreciate the support we have enjoyed from the public and will strive to continue to provide an event which honors the Boshears family and Augusta’s rich aviation legacy,” Shealy said.

Our Stefany Bornman is covering this story Friday and she will provide the latest information as it becomes available.

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