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Airline History Museum files complaint with FAA over hangar lease at Charles Wheeler Downtown Airport

Posted at 5:03 PM, May 16, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo — The Airline History Museum recently filed a listing Kansas City’s aviation director and the city attorney as respondents.

The Airline History Museum at the Charles Wheeler Downtown Airport is in a nearly two-year-old dispute over lease agreements with Signature Flight Support.

Museum officials also tried talking to city leaders about their problems.

“It’s frustrating. Extremely frustrating because the solutions to opening it back up and the importance to the community are so simple,” said Airline History Museum president John Roper. “And we can’t seem to get anybody to talk about it.”

I tried to get answers from Signature about the museum’s lease. No one from the company replied to my emails or phone calls and no one was at the company's airport offices when I went there Thursday.

I also went to the Thursday afternoon KCMO City Council meeting to ask council members about the situation.

Councilmember Eric Bunch said he needed to catch up on the most recent development with the museum.

“I think I need to understand where we left off,” Bunch said. “I know we tried to find some solutions and it was just untenable at the time.”

When I asked Mayor Quinton Lucas about the situation, he recognized the importance of the history on display at the museum, but added the museum needed to pay its bills and follow the rules.

I followed up, asking if there is a solution to this years-long issue.

“As I understand it, they are seeking separate legal remedies that are beyond what we as the legislative body will do,"Lucas said. "So we will see how that goes both with the administrative agency and potentially the courts thereafter."

Kansas City’s aviation history is fading away without the museum, Roper said, and that means one less resource for children to explore their love of flight.

"The Airline History Museum filed a Complaint with the FAA against the City under 14 CFR Part 16. The City will respond to the Complaint as provided in the Part 16 process," the Kansas City Aviation Department said in a statement.