City of Kansas City, MO
PO Box 4632
1901 W 31st St
Lawrence, KS 66046
Dear Mayor and City Council Members,
This letter is meant to express my sincere concern about the future of the Airline History Museum (formerly “Save-A-Connie”) located at Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport.
It is my understanding the museum has been closed and padlocked since the summer due to the on-field FBO, Signature Aviation, believing they alone have control over who occupies Hangar 9 at 2001 Lou Holland Drive, KCMO. It is also my understanding that the City actually owns all the buildings at the airport, not Signature, and ultimately decides on the disposition and use of these buildings.
What I do not understand is this: there is a Master Lease Agreement signed by the Kansas City Director of Aviation dated 12/28/2005 allowing the Airline History Museum to occupy Hangar 9 as long as it remains a nonprofit organization. Later in 2009, The City Council approved and authorized the Airline History Museum rent-free occupancy of Hangar 9 through 2035. (City Ordinance 090370) This was agreed to and memorialized as the 2nd Amendment to the Master Lease and signed by both the City and Signature. It is a straightforward promise to the Museum, as well as to the people of Kansas City and aviation fans around the world, to preserve this iconic museum and the many, many artifacts within.
From where I am sitting, it looks like an immense corporation, Signature Aviation, wants to squeeze every dollar it can out of their operation at Downtown Airport. I am aware of the legal actions being brought by Signature (and expect AHM to prevail upon appeal this Spring).
What is sad (and more than a bit troubling) is that it even had to come to this. Again, The City owns that property, not Signature. The City has a binding agreement with AHM. The Council could have stepped in at any time to prevent this unfortunate circus of runaway greed.
The reasons behind the council letting this situation getting this far out of hand defies explanation. Why would we, as a City, allow such a unique and historically significant facility to vanish?
In conclusion, I expect this unfortunate and hugely unnecessary injustice to be addressed immediately. Return the Museum to its legal home.