Bratislava, June 2 (TASR) – The Slovak International Air Fest (SIAF) won’t take place this year, Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad (OLaNO) announced at a news conference held on Tuesday with SIAF director Hubert Stoksa in attendance.
The decision to cancel the air show was made in connection with the coronavirus outbreak. Stoksa added that an alternative programme is being prepared comprised of live streams on social networks with samples of the best from previous years and a number of guests appearing in studios.
Nad regrets the cancellation. “We wanted to make it really spectacular,” he said, adding that this was meant to be the tenth annual event and that one aim was to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII.
The minister pointed to the unfavourable epidemiological situation and to the fact that plenty of people visit SIAF every year. Another factor is the situation abroad, with several partners only able to offer static demonstrations. “There’s no point in doing things by halves,” said Nad.
Stoksa said that the alternative online programme should involve six hours of non-stop broadcasting and will be accessible free of charge. The work of professional pilots and acrobats will be presented in the studios, and the Biele Albatrosy (White Albatrosses) acrobatic group should appear as well.
“It’s quite bad for us in economic terms, as we know that we can’t organise any event until the end of the year,” stated Stoksa in connection with the coronavirus-related measures, adding that the state will have to help the organisers to survive until next year and put on future events.
As Sliac airport, the traditional venue of the air show, will undergo reconstruction next year, analyses for selecting an alternative site are already ongoing, said Nad, adding that Kuchyna air base might be among the options.