The United States debt ceiling crisis has forced the cancellation of American military aircraft slated to appear at this year's August Abbotsford International Airshow.
As of April 1, touring schedules for all U.S. air force teams booked for trade shows and air shows throughout North America have been cancelled as part of an effort to stymie the $16 trillion U.S. national debt.
The so-called budget sequestrations mean two static or non-flight, U.S. military demos - the USAF F-22 Raptor and the U.S. navy Super Hornet - will likely not make their scheduled appearance in Abbotsford, said Jim Reith, incoming president of the Abbotsford International Airshow.
The famed USAF Thunderbirds aerial performance team, which performed at last year's Abbotsford Airshow, and the U.S. navy Blue Angels team, are also expected to be grounded throughout the summer season.
"We're working hard on filling a couple of holes," said Rieth.
But he added Abbotsford's annual summer spectacle will still feature plenty of in-flight performances courtesy of the Royal Canadian Air Force.
"We're already booked for the Snowbirds, we're already booked for the Canadian Air Force's CF18 Hornet demo," he said. A tactical support demo team and the Canadian Army Skyhawks parachute team are also on the roster.
"We're in a much better position than some of our colleagues south of the border who won't have any military support whatsoever," he said.
Debt negotiations in the U.S. are ongoing and subject to change, Reith said, but so far all signs indicate U.S. aircraft will be unavailable this year.
He did not expect ticket sales to take a major hit because of the cancellations, as aerial performances are generally the main draw.
"We'll have a really great show lineup as usual, it's just we won't have any airplanes parked out there with stars and stripes on them."
Last year's airshow drew more than 130,000 people over the three-day event, which featured the only Canadian performance by the USAF Thunderbirds for 2012.