Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Visitors frustrated at Luke AFB air show

PHOENIX — Some visitors to the popular Luke Air Force Base air show were left frustrated and disappointed by traffic jams, a lack of parking and long lines at security check-ins.

About 90,000 people showed up for the March 21 air show, with an additional 125,000 on March 22, according to air-show director David Edwards.

Traffic was funneled down Glendale Avenue to parking lots, with delays in some cases as long as two hours. Electronic signs directing traffic were not always visible, and some contained wrong information.

“It was a frustrating experience for a lot of people,” said Scottsdale resident Evan Klein, who made it through the traffic maze and paid his nonrefundable $10 parking fee.

Klein turned around and left when he came up to a winding line of what he estimated to be more than 1,000 people trying to get through security and onto the Glendale base.

Klein said he had been looking forward to the air show for two years, but the private pilot and his family ended up watching a couple of performances parked along the side of a road.

The second day, Glendale police made adjustments including increased manpower, said police Lt. Brian France, who handles special-events planning for Glendale police.

Luke identified parking and hired private contractors, but “ultimately, a traffic plan has to be submitted to our transportation department,” France said. France said he and Luke officials already are talking about how to improve traffic at the next air show.

France said a record number of people attended the air show and began arriving earlier than expected.

One of two parking lots at Glendale Municipal Airport, which used a private shuttle service to take visitors to the base, did not have enough drivers scheduled early on Saturday, France said.

Plus, shuttle buses got stuck in heavy traffic.

More drivers were added and shuttle buses eventually were given police escorts.

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

Search site | Terms of service