It’s official! Heritage Flight Museum is moving to Skagit Regional Airport!
HFM issued a press release on Thursday, 31 October, confirming their move to new facilities at Skagit Regional Airport. Below is the text of that press release:
HERITAGE FLIGHT MUSEUM ANNOUNCES MOVE TO SKAGIT AIRPORT
Museum plans move over winter months with grand opening during Tulip Festival
Bellingham, WA – October 31 – The Heritage Flight Museum, located at Bellingham International Airport, has announced that it will be moving its aircraft and collections to its hangar at Skagit Regional Airport.
“The people of the community have been fantastic and we regret our need for departure,” said Heritage Flight Museum Executive Director Greg Anders “We are a small business that cannot survive in an infertile environment. And we are a community asset that has options to be where our value is appreciated by the elected officials and their staff. The Port of Skagit understands the Heritage Flight Museum’s ability to be a catalyst and stimulus to a community’s economy, and they set the stage for a successful business environment. We must go where we are more likely to thrive.”
The museum will hold its final monthly fly day in Bellingham on Saturday, 16 November. Following that event, museum staff and volunteers will begin the job of moving the entire collection. Individuals, groups or businesses interested in supporting this endeavor are encouraged to contact the museum.
Heritage Flight Museum will be closed during the initial phases of the move, but may be open to drop-in visitors at the Skagit facility as they become more settled in. Some construction will be required to make the new facility fully ADA accessible and acceptable for large numbers of visitors. It is hoped that a soft opening can be accomplished at Skagit Regional Airport by February, with a grand opening maybe as early as the Tulip Festival in April.
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. Plans for the move to Skagit, into larger facilities, include bringing all of the collections and maintenance work under one roof, continuing monthly and annual events, developing a gift shop, and providing event space for corporate and private events.
Where is the new building?
The new museum hangar’s street address is 15053 Crosswind Dr, Burlington, WA, located abeam runway 04-22 Skagit’s crosswind runway. Note that Crosswind Dr is not well documented as yet on some mapping programs.
What is our timeline?
Now that we can share the good news of the move, we can also share some of the finer details:
- StrEAT Food Wednesday’s will continue through November 13
- Our last Bellingham Fly Day will be Saturday, 16 November – and will include StrEAT Food
- HFM will be closed to the public starting Monday, 18 November
- We will spend the winter moving and preparing the new building for business
- Soft opening set for Saturday, 15 February 2014, 12pm-4pm** This will re-start our monthly, third Saturday, Fly Day schedule.
- Grand Opening during Tulip Festival, Saturday, 26 April 2014, 12pm-4pm
- **Update** Due to unforeseen issues with the occupancy permits, we will be unable to be open on a regular basis until further notice. We are working closely with the Fire Marshal and County officials to mitigate ad correct the issues but that will take more time than expected. We have a special event permit for the Grand Opening and appreciate the support in getting that.
How can you help?
Moving a museum is a big task! The aircraft are the relatively easy part… it’s the collections and offices and maintenance shop and the F-89 that are the hard part! If you can volunteer your brawn in Bellingham and/or in Skagit, we will gladly welcome you for as long as you can help. If you have a group of friends/relatives/colleagues/do-gooders that want to spend a day helping, we look forward to putting you to work. If you have a big box truck with a lift gate that is usually available for rent, but that you’d like to donate the use of for a few weeks, we would be most grateful…. Do you see where we’re going with this? We’ll take any of those three, well-known-to-non-profit ‘t’s': time, talent or treasure.
And when we’re settled in at Skagit, we’ll be looking to expand our volunteer pool. Some of the positions we’ll need to fill will include:
- Greeter – the first person our visitors meet at the door! The Greeter will welcome visitors, accept admission donations, manage the front desk, administer gift shop sales.
- Docent – the aircraft experts who answer questions and provide tours! Docents will become familiar with all museum aircraft and have a working knowledge of their types, missions, roles, etc. No prior knowledge of these aircraft is required!
- More to come…