Home News Local News Luminati announces June 17 air show in Calverton

Luminati announces June 17 air show in Calverton

Spectators, including Luminati founder Daniel Preston, foreground, watch a demonstration flight at the Calverton airpark last June. File photo: Denise Civiletti

Luminati Aerospace is planning and promoting a June 17 air show at the Calverton Enterprise Park but the company hasn’t even filed a special event permit application with the town and the town supervisor says he doubts the town board would approve it.

To complicate matters further, the name Luminati chose for the air show — the Cradle of Aviation Air Show — includes a name owned by another entity, the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City.

Supervisor Sean Walter said today he does not believe there will be any support on the town board for an air show in June while the town is actively negotiating a sale of the site to Luminati. He said he informed Luminati CEO Daniel Preston of that this afternoon and urged him to drop the idea.

A Luminati representative could not be reached for comment.

Cradle of Aviation Museum executive director Andy Parton said today he has been in touch with Luminati to ask them to change the name of the air show “so people don’t think we’re involved in it.” Parton said he believes the organizers are going to comply.

“They were thinking of Long Island as the ‘cradle of aviation’ and that’s why the chose the name I think,” Parton said.

Luminati issued a press release last week announcing the air show at the Calverton Enterprise Park.

The air show, according to the press release, will be open to the public and free for all veterans and former Grumman employees.

“On aerial display will be two classifications of aircraft: Vintage aircraft from WWII produced by manufactures such as Grumman, Republic and Fairchild and electric/solar powered aircraft including the Luminati Aerospace V0 Substrata and others from this emerging field. Nationally recognized air boss Jeff Comeau will be in charge of the flight displays,” the release said.

“In addition to the aerial displays, The Cradle of Aviation Airshow has partnered with a number of aviation museums, flight schools, aviation clubs and local businesses who will be providing unique displays, speakers, children’s entertainment and a variety of local food vendors.”

Unless attendance at the show is limited to fewer than 1,000 people, it’s too late to even apply for a permit. Riverhead Town Code requires a special event application to be filed at least 120 days in advance for an event where between 1,000 and 5,000 spectators are expected. If attendance of more than 5,000 people is expected, the application has to be filed at least 180 days in advance. The code requires 40 days lead time for an event anticipated attendance is under 1,000 people.

Luminati has a website for the event which says flight displays will begin at 11:45 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. The press release said tickets may be purchased on the website, but as of today there were no tickets being offered for sale there and it does not list any ticket prices.

The domain name — cradleofaviationairshow.com — was created about two weeks ago, on Monday, March 27, according to ICANN, the organization that manages and coordinates internet domain names and addressed.

Luminati said in its April 6 press release announcing the air show it plans to unveil “Team Stratos — Luminati’s new team of aerospace scientists and engineers who will be designing and producing the next generation of solar-electric aircraft, bringing aerospace manufacturing back to Long Island.”

The Town of Riverhead and Luminati have signed a letter of intent for the sale of the town’s remaining 1,400 acres at the enterprise park for $40 million. The parties have 30 days from the date of the letter to negotiate the terms of a “definitive agreement in principle” for the sale. Once the terms of the definitive agreement are settled, the town will hold a hearing, pursuant to state law, to determine whether Luminati is “qualified and eligible sponsor.” If the town board determines Luminati is a “qualified and eligible sponsor” the parties will sign the definitive agreement within 10 days after the “qualified and eligible sponsor” determination is made by the town. If the town determines Luminati is not a “qualified and eligible sponsor” the letter of intent is terminated.

The first and only time an air show was held at the former Grumman site was in September 2003. The two-day New York Air Show event drew more than 20,000 people to the site each day, according to organizers. Traffic heading to the air show backed up from the Route 25 entrance all the way to the intersection of William Floyd Parkway and the Long Island Expressway in Shirley.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter and editor, an attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including a “writer of the year” award from the N.Y. Press Association in 2015. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website. Email Denise.