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On December 16, 2016, it was announced via the event's website that the Rockford Airfest would be canceled for 2017 and would not run in future years. The website post cited major ongoing development at Rockford International Airport as the main cause for the cancellations.
The airport began hosting the Rockford AirFest in 2005. From 1986 to 1994, the Greater Rockford Airport (as it was known until 2003) hosted the Midwest AirFest which twice featured the Air Force Thunderbirds. They returned again in 2006, and the Navy Blue Angels were featured in 2007. The F-22 Raptor Team performed in 2009. The 2010 AirFest once again hosted the USAF Thunderbirds on July 31 – Aug 1, 2010. The 2011 AirFest (June 4–5) commemorated the 100th anniversary of Naval Aviation. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels were slated as the headline performers, but their performance was canceled as part of the May 23 safety stand-down. The Black Diamond (formally known as the Heavy Metal Jet Team) replaced the Blues at the last minute to fill the Sunday show. Sponsored by United Bank Card, the Black Diamond Jet Team is a five-jet (L-39 Albatros, Canadair T-33) team based out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
^ ab"RFD Suspends AirFest". rockfordairfest.com. 16 December 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2017. AirFest 2017 is suspended; the airshow will not run in future years due to recent expansions taking place at the airport.