FAA: No Fourth of July airshow in Kailua

Clint Churchill
Clint Churchill

By Mark Carpenter

KAILUA (HawaiiNewsNow) - For the second straight year, Oahu residents will not be treated to a common spectacle at the Kailua Beach Fourth of July celebration.

While the fireworks show will go on as planned, there will be no airshow.

According to show pilot Clint Churchill, the performance will not take place because state and federal agencies say only government employees are allowed to clear people out of the water and flying area.

In previous years, Churchill said the FAA did not have a problem with the pilots asking people to clear the area.

"The first 10 times we did the airshow we had one or two boats, and we asked anybody that happened to be out-way off shore to voluntarily leave the area," Churchill said. "That's worked out fine in the past and now they are taking the position that this is a Marine event,"

Churchill, a retired pilot with the Hawaii Air National Guard, learned last week that the agencies involved were not allowing the 20-minute, two-plane performance to go on, however, even after filing an appeal with the FAA, he was still denied.

"It's just frustrating that we're caught kind of in this jurisdictional dispute, if you will, and the bureaucratic positions that have been taken and flexibility of working to work things out," Churchill said.

While the show's plans are up in the air for now, Churchill says he plans to try again next year to get planes back in the air.

"We'll keep on flying in the future, but the enjoyment of the folks at Kailua beach, a lot of them have spent that afternoon at the beach waiting for the fireworks at eight 'o clock, that's who's been deprived here," Churchill said.

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