2014 MCAS Miramar Air Show sneak preview - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

2014 MCAS Miramar Air Show sneak preview

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - After this year's disappointing cancellation of the Miramar Air Show, CBS News 8 is getting an exclusive explanation straight from the commanding officer himself about what went wrong.

The cancellation of the 2013 Miramar Air Show could become the poster child of what goes wrong when politicians in Washington D.C. can't agree. An event that normally makes more than a $1 million profit reportedly lost close to $700,000 this year.

"I think for Miramar and San Diego it was not the right call, but there are bigger powers at work and it was just something we had to go with," Commanding Officer Col. John Farnam said.

On October 3, one day before the air show, Farnam says he received an e-mail at 4:30 a.m. passed down from the secretary of defense that due to the government shutdown, the colonel was ordered to cancel the show, and it was his job to tell San Diego.

"I've got to tell you that was probably the worst I've had on the job to stand there and have to say that," he said.

Many of the planes scheduled to be in the show were already in the air flying to San Diego.

"We tried to get as many phone calls out as quick as we could to save people from making a trip that they didn't have to make," Farnam said.

Not only did the Marines have to tell them to go home, but all of the tents, the bleachers and the food were already paid for. The last-minute cancellation cost the base close to $700,000. Farnam says it wasn't easy, but the Marines made good on all of their financial promises.

"But business is business, and we had some money to pay back so we did that," he said.

Lost revenue from this year's cancelled air show will hurt numerous military family programs, but the base hopes to make up the loss in part by opening several new restaurants on base.

Colonel Farnam still feels bad about disappointing the community, which is why his staff helped us organize this interview to tell CBS News 8 he's pretty sure the 2014 air show will be back in business. He's very optimistic the 2014 Miramar Air Show will take place. In fact he says MCAS Miramar is on Blue Angels' calendar for October 4-5 2014.

"So we still have a little bit to go before we make an announcement that the air show's coming, but it looks to me that the pieces are coming into place, and I feel very good about it, I just have to make a very well-informed decision," he said.


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