As snow flurries swirled outside the window, members of the Westmoreland County Airport Authority were already thinking ahead to June and to plans for the Shop ‘n Save Westmoreland County Airshow.
After a canceled show in 2020 and a scaled-down version of the airshow in 2021, airport authority Executive Director Gabe Monzo was thrilled to update board members on a show that’s closer to normal than either of the previous two shows, including plans for a tribute flight that is scheduled to tour Westmoreland County by air.
According to Monzo, the Jersey Jerks will provide two four-person flights that will take off and fly over Ligonier, Vandergrift, Monessen, Rostraver, and then Greensburg/Jeannette. Sponsorships are available at $5,000 per flight.
The flights, which were scheduled for last year but never happened, are a tribute not only to health care workers, but other frontline workers during the pandemic and even for “people who just stayed home,” said Monzo.
In addition, Monzo announced that the F-16 Viper Demo Team will be back, along with the P-51 Mustang, Erk Edgren and Dougherty Airshows.
“They always provide an excellent show,” Monzo said of the F-16s. “They are going to light this place up.”
In addition, Monzo said static displays on the ground will also be a part of this year’s airshow, which is scheduled for June 11-12, at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport. Among the static displays are the Gooney Bird, a historic aircraft from the Golden Age of aviation; a TBM Avenger, a World War II torpedo bomber; and Precision Exotics will be offering a ride in its Lamborghini — an opportunity to go 200 mph on the runway is yours at just $300 per ride.
After two years of uncertainty, Monzo said they are hoping this year the airshow can regain its glory.
“We’re excited to be back to where we were a few years ago,” he said.
Although the exact schedule of performers isn’t out yet, Monzo said gates will open at 10 am both days for the airshow.
In other airport news, Monzo commented on the recent acquisition of Spirit Airlines, Arnold Palmer Regional Airport’s lone commercial airline, by Frontier Airlines.
Although officials don’t have any confirmation on how this will or even if it will impact operations at the Latrobe area airport, Monzo said they are ready for whatever comes. Monzo said airport officials have a great relationship with Frontier.
It could mean “more cities, more airplanes and more business.”
In regular business, the airport authority approved several items of note, including:
- Requisitions to McFarland Johnson of $7,078.62 for Arnold Palmer Regional Airport’s hangar site development, and $2,920.71 for helipad construction and $6,437.53 for phase two observations construction for Rostraver Airport;
- A resolution for a highway occupancy permit with PennDOT;
- A lease agreement with Hertz for moving upstairs in the terminal for $2,852.64 per month plus 10% commission for time and travel.