Air Show Working On 2012 Bookings

OCEAN CITY – It’s not too early to look forward to the OC Air Show of 2012 as discussion has begun on headliners and dates.

Ocean City Air Show LLC President Bryan Lilley presented the Mayor and City Council with a summary and report of this past summer’s event, but questions couldn’t help but be asked about next year’s edition.

“We are starting communication once again with the United States Air Force Thunderbirds for the discussion and the opportunity to host them in 2012,” Lilley said. “We are also in communication with the United States Navy Blue Angels. They are currently scheduling their 2013 schedule.”

Lilley added that the town hasn’t seen a flyover from the Blue Angels since 2008 during the first Air Show. He expects to find out the headliners final tour dates for this upcoming year by mid-December.

The 2011 OC Air Show had over 75 percent of new acts from years before and was headlined by the F-18 Super Hornet and the AV-8B Harrier jet demo teams. In 2009 and 2010, the event was headlined by the USAF Thunderbirds.

Despite the change in the lineup, the event had a record breaking attendance this past summer equaling the events most successful year in 2009. Demoflush, or estimate of visitors in Ocean City, that weekend reflected 260,000 people.

“We were very pleased with the results of the show,” Lilley said. “It went very smoothly and overall we could not have asked for more.”

According to the town’s internal auditor, Susan Childs, the Ocean City Air Show books reflect a profit of close to $56,000. The agreement is the profits be split 65 percent to OC Air Show LLC and 35 percent to the Town of Ocean City.

This week Lilley also announced that in the last year he has been building relationships with international jet demonstration teams. This week he will be traveling to Europe to meet with the Royal Air Force Red Arrows and Patrol de France.

“It’s going to be an opportunity for me to meet both teams and get some dialogue going with them so when they plan U.S tours we can hopefully get in front of them with an opportunity and an invitation from the Town of Ocean City and flyover us,” he said.

According to Lilley, the tentative dates for 2012 OC Air Show are June 9 and 10 but it all comes down to the date given by headlining jet teams scheduled to come to Ocean City and discussions with resort tourism officials.