HILLSBORO -- The U.S.Navy Blue Angels stunt team has canceled its scheduled appearance at the 2013 Oregon Air Show in late July, as well as all other remaining 2013 appearances, including the August Seafair in Seattle.
The cancellation is due to federal budget cuts resulting from sequestration, which took effect in March. The Pentagon has to cut $4 billion from its budget.
While the Blue Angels are a sentimental favorite and a recruiting tool, it’s not considered a necessity. Published reports put the annual cost of the Blue Angels at $37 million.
Businesses are wondering how much money will still come in. The Comfort Inn directly across from the Hillsboro Airport has been booked for that last weekend in July.
Front desk clerks hope people don't cancel once they hear the Blue Angels won’t be appearing.
"That is too bad, I'm not going to lie,” employee Tina Baarspul said. “Everyone keeps calling, 'we heard the Blue Angels are coming, we're really excited - can we book a room?’ Of course - come on. So this will be interesting to see how this impacts us, but hopefully, hopefully not."
The Patriots Jet Team, a civilian aerobatic group of six planes, will perform in place of the Blue Angels.
Their performances are highlighted by a computer-controlled red, white and blue smoke system. Many of the pilots include past experience with the Blue Angels, the Air Force Thunderbirds and Royal Canadian Air Force.