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New-Look Atlantic City Air Show Takes Flight This Week

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By Syma Chowdhry

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) – The air show returns to Atlantic City this week, with a few changes.

First, last year the show was on a Friday in August, while this year it’s the last week of June – this Wednesday the 26th.

Joe Kelly is the president of the Greater Atlantic City Chamber and says an earlier date promotes tourism.

“We wanted to remind everybody that the shore is here, alive and well. What a great way to kick off the summer season,” he said.

The week kicks off with a parade on the boardwalk to honor the military.

“It’s really a great thing to have the support of the community,” Army Major Glenn Battschinger of the 404th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne) said.

The Federal Sequester also forced some changes to the parade and air show this year (see related story).

“We don’t have some of the bands, the military bands that we had before but we were able to get groups that didn’t have to travel far, they came on their own vehicles so we didn’t have to use any federal dollars,” parade founder Pinky Kravitz said.

Another change is the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will not be flying this year, but Wednesday’s show will still have a similar feel. Military aircrafts that are privately owned will be flown by civilians.

“To make it not look different. To not let down the expectations, that’s why it was so important to have a jet perform in the show,” Kelly said.

Steve Kapur is a pilot for the Geico Skytypers, who will be performing Wednesday.

“We miss our buddies in the military,” he said. “The air show community is a small group of people. There aren’t a lot of people that do what we do.”

Kapur says this year’s show features historic jets:

“These aircrafts are actually older than the guys who are flying them. They were built in 1940 for the Second World War.”

The event is free to watch.  You just have to get a spot on the boardwalk as thousands of people are expected to watch the show.

“The weather is on our side.” Kelly said. “I promise folks, the air show and the presentation – we won’t let anybody down.”

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