executive director Bob Byrnes called Saturday’s air festival “simply spectacular.”
Byrnes said he could not have been happier to see thousands of people flock to Martin State Airport this past weekend to see the and partake in the other activities at the Middle River site as part of the state’s Star-Spangled Sailabration, which celebrated the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.
Along with the watching the Blue Angles take off and land, visitors at Martin State Airport got to see Navy F-18 fighter jets fly, get an up close look at vintage aircraft and get a tour of the aviation museum.
Byrnes said around 3,000 of the visitors at Martin State Airport also toured the museum, which he added was almost an average year’s attendance to the site. The weekend’s festivities came at the perfect time for the museum, which is also celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the
“This weekend put the museum and Martin State Airport on the map,” Byrnes said. “We had many people who came up to us and said they didn’t even know the airport or museum were here until this weekend. Many of those folks live in the community.”
Baltimore County police spokeswoman Cpl. Cathy Batton said there were no major injuries or incidents to report over the weekend despite the large crowd in Middle River. Officers were on hand to direct traffic along Eastern Boulevard while school busses shuttled visitors back and forth from a parking lot at Lockheed Martin to the airport’s festivities.
Byrnes said he hopes the success of this weekend will lead to future aviation festivals at the airport and maybe even the return of an air show to Middle River. Such events have been virtually non-existent in the community since a Stealth fighter crashed during a show at the airport in 1997.
“Everyone had a lot of fun and no one got hurt,” Byrnes said. “Hopefully the county and others will take notice and bring more aviation events to Middle River.”