The Napier Aero Club has decided against staging what was its annual Aero Deco Event at Hawke's Bay Airport next month.
The decision was announced by club president Barrie Crabbe, who said: "We have regretfully decided not to be open to the public, or to open the public display area at the airport, as we have done for many years." he said.
"There will be no aircraft on public display at the airport."
Art Deco Trust festival director Greg Howie said the Trust had been advised, and the decision was essentially about the ability to fence-off parts of the airfield and facilities and requirements for crowd control amid the Covid- 19 traffic lights Protection Framework.
Crabbe said that in accordance with civil aviation rules covering aviation events, the club does not "want to encourage the gathering of large groups of people to view an aviation event."
While the air show and displays will not take place at the airport, Howie said classics flyers Warbirds have confirmed their involvement in displays over the city and the coast during the festival.
But whether the RNZAF Black Falcons flying team can return is up in the air because of members' involvement in the pandemic response. Any involvement was unlikely to be confirmed until a few days before the festival, Howie said.
Forced to cancel the major events in the 2021 festival at just a few days' notice, the Art Deco Trust announced last month plans to manage this year's February 16-20 festival under whatever conditions apply at the time in the region within the Covid-19 Protection Framework (Traffic Light System).
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The Napier-Hastings area has been subject to the orange conditions, which do not limit crowd number at events where double-vaccination is required. No more than 50 can attend events where vaccine passports are not required.
The Trust says some events would be curtailed if the region was plunged into the red zone of the framework, which is currently in place at least until January 31, although it is being reviewed by the Government this week.
At least two major airshows are currently expected to go ahead in New Zealand, with Classics of the Sky scheduled for Tauranga on January 30, and Wings Over Wanaka scheduled for April.
Wings over Wairarapa, usually held soon after the Art Deco Festival and cancelled mid-flight in 2021 when a Covid-19 lockdown happened during the event at the end of last February, is next scheduled for February 2023.