ANOTHER Milestone Reached for the CAF National Airbase
By Stephan C. Brown, CAF President/CEO
The Commemorative Air Force reached an important milestone in the CAF National Airbase Project. On November 12th the Dallas City Council unanimously approved the first part of $8.7 million in proposed financial support. The total of this initial public-private partnership grant could be as much as $700,000 to help with costs related to the relocation and construction of our headquarters and CAF National Airbase at Dallas Executive Airport.
We had previously met with the City of Dallas Economic Development Committee and discussed many of the details about our creating a World War II aviation attraction and CAF Headquarters at Dallas Executive Airport. The second part, including our Lease, will be reviewed by this same committee on December 3rd. This money will be paid out over time and will be awarded based on our ability to raise matching funds, create local jobs and build a world-class aviation attraction. We are gearing up to begin our fund raising efforts in earnest this January, after we receive final approval from the Dallas City Council on December 10th.
Since announcing that we selected Dallas as our location for the CAF National Airbase in April, our team has been working hard to make sure our transition to Dallas is a smooth landing. Some of our management staff, including Adam Smith and I, are already working out of Dallas. The rest of our management staff will be joining us next year.
We are meeting regularly with city officials, area residents and local companies to begin establishing relationships and laying the foundation for the CAF in the City of Dallas. In October, we held our first CAF WWII Air Expo at Dallas Executive Airport, which drew over 5,000 attendees and included an Education Day where hundreds of students came for a free tour of aircraft by CAF members and World War II Veterans.
The education day was strategic in establishing that the Commemorative Air Force is committed to education in a fun, unique way. As expected, the response was stellar. Brooke Syverson, a Dallas teacher contacted the CAF to express her appreciation. She said “The enthusiasm of everyone involved at the CAF WWII Air Expo and the variety of information from history to aviation to military kept all of my students engaged. It was a wonderful ‘hands-on’ learning experience.”
As you can see, we are fully committed to making Dallas Executive Airport the future home of the Commemorative Air Force National Air Base. And the City of Dallas is behind us too. The CAF’s headquarters at Dallas Executive Airport will infuse new life into the local community. The future aviation museum attraction will become a world-class tourist destination for the city. Not only will this be a wonderful tourist attraction, but, it will also be an opportunity to create more jobs, and be a true economic boost to the city over the next 20 years.
The next vote by Dallas City Council on December 10 is a big one. The council will then vote to authorize a $2 million grant to contribute to the construction of the CAF National Airbase. I am encouraging any Dallas/Fort Worth area CAF members to attend the meeting. We ask that members who attend dress in the look of uniformity, navy CAF button-down shirt and khaki pants. The meeting is scheduled for December 10 at 9 a.m. at Dallas City Hall, 1500 Marilla Street, 6th floor council chamber, Dallas, Texas 75201.
To view the live broadcast of this meeting use this link http://www.dallascityhall.com/council_briefings/agendas/index_video-view.html
Here is a great link a story regarding the recent vote- http://cityhallblog.dallasnews.com/2014/11/council-approves-relocation-grant-to-commemorative-air-force.html/