August 1, 2013
By Ian J. Twombly
In an effort to expand its base and educational efforts, the Commemorative Air Force is seeking a new headquarters location. Through a bidding process, the list of potential candidates is down to eight, according to President Steve Brown.
"Our mission is education,” says Brown. And to fulfill that mission, the group must be in a metropolitan area, he said. Six of the final eight airports in contention are in Texas (Fort Worth, McKinney, two in Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston), with the final two in Olathe, Kan., and Nashville, Tenn. Brown said the selection will be made after a thorough proposal process and board of directors deliberation. The site will include the corporate offices, and what Brown calls “a new aviation attraction.” The process should be complete in the first quarter of 2014.
When complete, the headquarters will function as the central point for the group's flying activities, airshow planning, and educational efforts. Brown said CAF is currently flying approximately 158 aircraft nationwide through its group of local chapters. Last year they flew 5,200 hours. CAF's most expensive aircraft to operate, the B-29, flew the most with 300 hours. They also put on 10 airshows and were in more than 40 cities with the Rise Above educational program centered on the Tuskegee Airmen.
The CAF’s current headquarters in Midland, Texas, will remain a gathering point for the group’s warbird activities, thanks to an active aircraft operation, museum, and yearly airshow.
AOPA Pilot and Flight Training Editor Ian J. Twombly joined AOPA in 2003 and is an instrument flight instructor.
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