Source: Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

SAN BERNARDINO >> The judge assigned to a lawsuit seeking to shut down the Planes of Fame Air Show disclosed Thursday that he had a potential conflict in the case, so the case will instead be heard by a different judge starting April 28.

A group of tenants at Chino Airport filed suit in March to stop the air show, scheduled for May 6-7, because they allege it obstructs business.

Judge Michael Sachs began Thursday’s hearing, the first in the case, by telling attorneys that he had reviewed many issues related to the airport as assistant county counsel for San Bernardino County, a position he held until 2007.

As a result, Tom Bochard, the attorney for airport tenants — including Yanks Air Museum and Flying Tigers Aviation — requested another judge take over the case.

Judge David Cohn then responded by email to say he would hear the case beginning 1:30 p.m. April 28, Sachs said.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction to stop the annual air show, which the plaintiffs allege completely shuts off access to any businesses not affiliated with the show.

“What began as a small gathering of aircraft enthusiasts has mushroomed into a massive weeklong undertaking that has become intolerable for other tenants,” the lawsuit says. “These tenants, their customers and guests are prevented from any reasonable access to their property because of physical barricades, prohibitive directional signage, traffic monitors, and traffic jams caused by the show.

“Planes of Fame Air Museum, which operates the Air Show, trespasses, creates a snarling, road-clogging nuisance both inside and outside of the airport, and thus interferes with other tenants’ businesses to such an extent that it deprives them of the use and enjoyment of their leaseholds.”

An online petition supporting the air show had gathered more than 15,000 signatures as of Thursday, calling it one of the few remaining opportunities for Southern California residents to see aircraft from the Golden Age of Aviation as well as a boon to the local economy.

Although he has promised to refund all tickets if the air show is stopped, Planes of Fame Air Museum President Steve Hinton said after the hearing that he was looking forward to the show going on.