POSTED: Monday, February 24, 2014 - 7:10pm
UPDATED: Monday, February 24, 2014 - 7:11pm
SANTA TERESA, N.M. — The Amigo Airsho will return in the Fall after a year hiatus to a new location at the Dona Ana County International Jetport at Santa Teresa and preparations for the event are already underway.
Monday afternoon Maj. Mike Fisher of the United State Air Force Thunderbirds evaluated the facilities to make sure they will able to perform their elaborate show and preserve the condition of their expensive jets.
"We're going to take a real hard look at all the infrastructure," Fisher said.
Fisher said he would take notes of the runway, the taxiways and the airfield as a whole to share with the rest of the team.
The Thunderbirds expect to be able to put on the same quality show they performed at Biggs Army Airfield in years past but the only difference might be smaller crowds for the first year at a new venue.
After more than 30 years in El Paso, budget cuts at Forrt Bliss forced the cancellation of the 2013 Amigo Airsho.
Amigo Arisho Board of Directors President Roxie Samaniego said they anticipate about 12,000 to 15,000 spectators per day during the first weekend of November.
"At Fort Bliss that number ranged from 40,000 per day," Samaniego said.
Even with a smaller crowd expected, parking will be a top priority the Airsho will address before November.
The plan is to break ground soon on a 30 to 40 acre parking lot.
With the different venue also comes the challenge of getting people in and out of the airport.
Airport Road, a two lane road, is the only way in and out of the area and heavy congestion is expected.
Deputy Assistant County Manager Chuck McMahon said they've discussed counterflow traffic where all vehicles would either be coming in or out to alleviate congestion.
"At peak hours we would move traffic in one direction," he said.
McMahon said they are also working with state police, the sheriff's office and other agencies to help coordinate who will man each post and provide emergency services.
"I think we're going to have a great amount of resources to pull this off and we're going to need them," he said.
Airsho officials expect presale tickets to sell out for the November show and if tickets move along quickly they could also consider adding an extra day.