Advertisement

Our Opinion: Keep those eyes to the skies today

March 08, 2008

Today is a day that many in the Valley, and many from outside the Valley, look forward to every year. It is a day of excitement and pride for people young and old.

Today is the annual air show at Naval Air Facility El Centro.

Tens of thousands of people will flood through the gates of the base this morning — and lining nearby roads and canal banks — to watch aerial stunts performed by many different aircraft; the British Royal Air Force’s Falcons parachute team; enjoy displays of other military hardware; and also see the Budweiser Clydesdales. There will be something for people of every age to enjoy.

The air show is important for our community for a number of reasons. It is a way for local residents to connect directly with NAF El Centro, and celebrate its importance to our community. We see and hear the military aircraft in our skies every day as pilots hone their skills. This gives everyone a chance to see the base and those aircraft up close.

Advertisement

It is also good for our local economy. According to a recently released economic impact study, the air show alone pumps more than $1 million into the local economy. Not all of the estimated 40,000 people who will attend the show are from the local area, so they will need a place to stay, food and other items. That is good for us all.

The air show is a reminder that NAF El Centro is a part of our community, and a big part at that. We can never take the base or its importance to our community for granted.

Finally, this is the first show of the season for the Blue Angels — as it is every year. This is a group of elite pilots who must have incredible skills to even make the team. They are truly the best of the best. And we should never forget that we are privileged enough to host these pilots and their crew members every year. It is a relationship that is good for the Blue Angels and the Imperial Valley. It is not only good for our economy, but also give us bragging rights as the winter home of the team.

We hope that you go out to NAF El Centro today to enjoy the air show and all it has to offer. It is a wonderful gift that we get every year at this time, and it never gets old.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles
|
|
|