The skies will be filled with aircraft over Atlantic City today as planes practice for Wednesday’s 11th annual air show.
The air show is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, with practice at the same time today. Those events, along with Monday’s third annual Armed Services parade, are among the early summer events organizers are hoping will bring tourists to the resorts earlier in the tourist season.
Hundreds of air shows were canceled nationally due to the federal sequestration grounding military flight demonstrations, But Atlantic City assembled a quality lineup of civilian flights, Air Show coordinator Dave Schultz said.
All of the aircraft is expected to participate in today's practice schedules, he said.
Last year’s event drew more than 900,000 people, said Joe Kelly, president of the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce, who said about 258,000 people came in from out of town and would not have been in the area if not for the event. Kelly said that brought in about $42 million in revenue for local businesses.
This year the air show is back to the traditional midweek and will be held in June for the first time.
Kelly said he does not have an estimate for how many people they expect to attend this event, but said that he hopes more events such as these in June will help get people to the resort earlier in the season, thus expanding it.
“We wanted to drive the point home that we’re back and people should get ready for their summer vacations because we are here to host you,” he said.
Mayor Lorenzo Langford said the event is another one to help showcase the city.
Steve Kapur, a resident of Sparta, will be one of six pilots flying World War II era SNJ-2s a plane used to train pilots for single seat fighter planes. The Geico Skytypers have performed at about six of the local air shows and are based in Long Island.
Kapur said the unit is anxious to come and entertain and help another region that was badly affected by Hurricane Sandy last October.
“We’re very excited to come here and entertain,” he said.