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Aviator cleared for takeoff as government shutdown ends

Brooklyn Daily
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The Aviator sports center in Floyd Bennett Field has reopened now that Congress put an end to the federal government shutdown, which had shuttered national parks, including the Gateway National Recreation Center where the popular events center is located.

Aviator, which operates under a concession with the National Parks Service, was forced to close along with Floyd Bennett Field on Oct. 1 as an unfortunate result of the federal shutdown.

Throughout the 16-day shutdown, the recreation center had to cancel numerous events, including the 2013 Everything Kids Expo scheduled for Oct. 6, the Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge scheduled for Oct. 12 and 13, and the Brooklyn Blackout basketball team’s second game.

But Aviator confirmed that the Kids Expo has been rescheduled for Nov. 10, when the sports center will be honoring tickets purchased for the original date, according to spokeswoman Jaclyn Muns.

The Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge, on the other hand, has been moved to the Resorts World Casino in Queens and rescheduled for this weekend, Oct. 19 – 20.

In order to avoid defaulting on the country’s federal debt, the factions within Congress struck a deal to end the deadlock by midnight on Oct. 16. Aviator has since confirmed that Wednesday’s deal has allowed Aviator to open its doors in time for its first-annual Oktoberfest on Oct. 19.

The events center also confirmed that other events, including Aviator’s 7-days-per-week public skating, along with the upcoming Halloween Costume Party and the Run for Your Lives 5k zombie run scheduled for Oct. 26, will also run on schedule.

Throughout the shutdown, Gateway National Parks Service only allowed Aviator a skeleton crew of operations personnel, who were required in order to keep everything in shape and prevent — among other things — the ice within the complex’s hockey rinks from melting.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.
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