This week’s city council session brought a debate over fees the city is charging for the Wings Over Houston Airshow. The proposal is to increase the rental cost for the two-day community event from $30,000 to $100,000 this year. After that, the cost would gradually increase each year for the next four years, topping out at $112,000.
Mayor Sylvester Turner said that the administration received no complaints from the organization about the increased cost, but Council Member Greg Travis heard differently saying they complained to him and to Mario Diaz, the Houston Airport System director.
Council Member Mike Knox believes that the city is attempting to push the airshow out in favor of other nearby events.
“Actually, I’ve had a conversation with Director Diaz about this and he’s told me he wants the Wings Over Houston to go away because it’s going to interfere with Spaceport Houston,” he said, “and so, that is the reason, I believe, why this has been raised, to make it financially untenable.”
Wings Over Houston is a volunteer-driven community event that has been held in Houston for 35 years, according to their website. The council members argued that by increasing the fees, especially with the show taking place in just over three months, the city would be pushing out an event that is good for the community and generates revenue through vendors and hotel occupancy taxes.
Travis tagged the item so it will be delayed until next week.