40 years of Achievement through Community Involvement
In 1981 a very special event was created in Salinas, California. The California International Airshow has been showcasing aviation excellence for over 40 years while at the same time raising over $8 million for local charities.
Our mission each year is very simple: Produce a World Class Community-based Airshow Event benefiting local Charitable Organizations. In the 40 years that the California International Airshow has been in operation, it has become the most successful Airshow organized to support charitable organizations on the North American continent.
Utilizing all volunteers and service groups from the community the organization each year plans and executes the event that entertains 40,000 to 50,000 spectators annually. The top military and civilian performers in the United States and Canada thrill the crowds, and over 100 static aircraft, exhibits and displays are available for Airshow fans to enjoy during their experience. The goal each year is to produce an event that will be family oriented, educational and entertaining for the whole family.
To most of Monterey County and the Central Coast, the California International Airshow, or “CIA” as its volunteers refer to it, is a home grown community event, based in Salinas that is a spectacle of fun and entertainment. To the City of Salinas, it is an annual economic infusion of millions of dollars to the local economy. To the Board of Directors, it is their reason for being. And the twelve months of planning and hard work it takes to produce the Airshow is always gratifying and rewarding.
In addition to its main goal of raising money for charity, the airshow’s charter also emphasizes volunteerism and community involvement, family-oriented entertainment, aviation and its contributions to the American way of life, and pride in our nation and it’s military.
Military organizations have been major contributors to the success of the programs presented. The CIA has hosted some of the world’s finest military jet teams, including the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the U. S Air Force Thunderbirds, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, the Royal Air Force British Red Arrows, and the Soviet Mig 29’s. In addition, other governmental organizations have supported the CIA over the years including NASA, US Coast Guard, California National Guard, United States Marines, and numerous units from the former Fort Ord.
Professional Airshow performers are also recruited to provide a variety of unusual and dynamic air acts every year. Such spine-chilling acts as barnstorming wing walkers and their aerobatic pilots have left their mark in the minds of all who watched them. Legends in the industry and modern-day champions of aerobatic competitions have added quality acrobatic maneuvers to the programs. Legends from Bob Hoover, the Christen Eagles, Wayne Handley, Sean D. Tucker, Patty Wagstaff to stars who are no longer with us like Art Scholl, Leo Loudenslager and the French Connection.
The CIA has always been the trendsetter when it comes to Airshow entertainment. Salinas has wowed the crowds over the last 40 years with Pyrotechnics, Fireworks, jet cars and trucks, monster trucks, fire-breathing robots, and even daredevil Robbie Knievel.
To all of the professionals and participants of the Airshow industry, to our very generous business community of loyal sponsors, and to the thousands of volunteers who have devoted tens of thousands of hours, the California International Airshow can only say “Thank You”.