Heritage Flight Museum Bellingham Move Halted

. December 9, 2012

“The Port of Bellingham has officially rescinded the favorable land lease terms with which we were attracted to move to Bellingham back in 2001” reported Heritage Flight Museum Executive Director Greg Anders.

The Museum moved to Bellingham in 2001 when the Port’s Executive Director sent the Museum founder, Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders, a memorandum confirming the Port’s offer to provide the necessary land under the terms of a favorable lease that many ports use to attract museums. Greg Anders said “The Port’s Executive Director understood a Museum like ours is a rare cultural asset that helps to attract tourism to support other local businesses while providing the community with a unique attraction.”

Anders continued with “We are a small non-profit Museum trying to keep these amazing aircraft flying. The Port has now created an untenable environment for the long term viability of this collection by switching away from their favorable lease offer. The new offer included a high market lease rate as well as turning our building over to the Port at the expiration of the lease in 25 years.”

Founded in 1996 by Apollo 8 astronaut Maj. General William Anders, the Heritage Flight Museum is a nonprofit 501(C)(3) organization dedicated to the preservation and flying of historic military aircraft. The museum settled at Bellingham International Airport in 2001 and has been developing their displays and their community programs since then, all the while, hoping to build a purpose built facility at Bellingham.

The Heritage Flight Museum is once again looking for a new home and is already being recruited by several other destinations. Greg Anders further stated “We aren’t looking to force our Museum on anybody. We’re talking to several groups that more clearly recognize the value our Museum does bring to the community. The people of Whatcom County have certainly demonstrated their appreciation and support. It is something I thought the Port of Bellingham understood.”

Anders concluded with “I don’t believe the Port is serving the Whatcom community as well as it could. The Heritage Flight Museum is only one of the victims of the Port’s lack of understanding of the local aviation community. The Port is not pursuing a balanced approach. They are all about expanding airline service. They don’t seem to be interested in supporting the local flyers and businesses. I am disappointed they have lost the local community development vision that attracted us here in the first place.”

More information: http://www.heritageflight.org/content/about- 2/building-a-museum/

Category: Science Technology

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