California Drought Curbs Water Cannon Salutes at Airports

Fire department water cannons fire a welcoming salute as the inaugural V Australia flight from Sydney to Los Angeles International Airport arrives in 2009 Photograph by Reed Saxon/AP Photo

The water cannon salute—an airport tradition to honor military veterans, foreign dignitaries, and new airline service—is on hiatus at California’s two largest airports because of the state’s severe drought. The salutes typically involve two firefighting rigs spraying arcs of water over an arriving or departing flight.

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