Mr. Frank Nero, President and Chief Executive Officer, the Beacon Council (the Council), provided a brief status report on the development of the Miami International Air Show (MIAS). He advised that components of MIAS remained under negotiations with the United States Air Force (USAF) regarding some issues of concern. The Council had received multiple draft letters from the USAF outlining some of its conditions, but a formal response had not been received yet; and unfortunately, some of those conditions listed in the draft letters had already changed. He noted the Council had been advised on several occasions by legislative offices, including the Office of Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and the Office of Lieutenant Governor, that a formal response was forthcoming. He also indicated that the Council could not move forward with the development of MIAS until a formal letter was received from USAF outlining specific issues of concern, which were required to be incorporated into the lease agreement.
Mr. Nero advised that the Council took the following steps:
1. the development of a full Concept of Operations plan under the guidance of the local Base Commander to help address some of USAF’s concerns;
2. the negotiations and discussions with USAF on the development of MIAS were on-going;
3. the legal structure to manage MIAS was developed and approved by the Council’s Board of Directors;
4. the development of relationships with aviation associations to manage MIAS conference component;
5. the drafting of a lease agreement, which was shared with County staff; and
6. the interviewing of event operators of air shows, aviation companies interested in participating such as Fedex and American Airlines, and other potential exhibitors, which would most likely result in having the Council request a proposal from a significant operator.
Mr. Nero advised that the Council was considering staging a smaller type air show for 2012 since the inaugural date of the air show was only thirteen (13) months away. He said that the MIAS format for 2012 under consideration was to enhance the Wings Over Homestead Air Show by adding more commercial displays and industry related seminars to address key issues on the aviation industry. He noted the full scale MIAS would be implemented in 2014.
Mr. Nero advised that the Council continued to work with the County’s lobbyists and the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (OIA), who was very helpful. He noted that the assistance of the Homestead lobbying team and other lobbyists was requested, and that a request was forwarded to the White House to assist in persuading the USAF to approve the air show. Mr. Nero also expressed appreciation for the support of this Board and the County Congressional Delegation, which had been helpful in moving forward MIAS.
Mr. Nero advised that USAF had expressed concerns over the issues of precedent and costs, as it was weary of creating a precedent that other locations would want to follow and was concerned with resolving cost related issues. Therefore, it would be challenging for the Council to address their concerns until all specific issues were identified; and the face to face meeting requested by Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen was declined because the formal letter from USAF had not been received and the issues of concern remained unknown. He stated that the key was to meet with USAF representatives to secure this formal letter. He noted his organization was committed to organizing the air show, and a full-time team and resources had been assigned to implement this project.
Commissioner Moss noted the Board of County Commissioners’ commitment was contingent upon the occurrence of certain events by a certain timeframe, and the deadline had expired at this point.
In response to Commissioner Moss’s inquiry as to whether the intent was to develop a smaller air show within the confines of the existing blueprint and whether the Board could revisit the issue of the County’s commitment at a later time, Mr. Nero confirmed that they would like to use the blueprint of the current air show and were working to reformat the 2012 event so as to require significantly less site improvements than originally approved by the Board. He pointed out that the Council did not intend to return before the Board until all approvals were obtained, including USAF’s approval, and the air show was ready for implementation. He advised that they continued to receive international and domestic inquiries from potential exhibitors wishing to sign up for MIAS.
Pursuant to Commissioner Diaz’s query, Mr. Nero clarified that the Wings Over Homestead Air Show would take place in 2012.
Commissioner Diaz commented on the efforts both Commissioner Moss and he had put forth to achieve the current status of MIAS. He also stressed that he was not supportive of having the components of two air shows integrated in order to avoid impacting the Wings Over Homestead Air Show.
Mr. Nero advised that the local Base Commander suggested the marketing component of the Wings Over Homestead Air Show be used if all approvals for MIAS were not in place. He noted this approach would allow them to avoid USAF difficulties and to access the approval of an existing air show.
Commissioner Bell advised that she met with Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll in her office, and she also stated that she had contacted two persons in the Pentagon to urge their support in moving forward the approval of MIAS.
Mr. Nero advised that the Council had been in direct communications with the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, who had been very helpful in this effort. He confirmed that the Lieutenant Governor made a direct approach to the Pentagon.
Board of County Commissioners
Commissioner Moss requested that Chairman Martinez ask the Beacon Council to have a representative present at the September 22, 2011, Board of County Commissioners’ meeting to answer questions on Agenda Item 6B1 relating to a discussion on the Miami International Air Show (MIAS).
Board of County Commissioners
The foregoing proposed discussion item was deferred to the September 20, 2011 County Commission Meeting, as requested by Commissioner Moss.
There is no text currently available online for this item.