A nationwide search has begun for what the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) has named a National Airbase. The search is the start of a 10-year Airbase Strategy plan aimed at increasing public awareness about CAF in which several airbases will open up around the country. These airbases will serve as centers of education to spread the word about the contributions of military aviation.
“At each airbase, the public attraction will contain flying vintage military aircraft combined with interactive educational displays, entertaining activities and an annual airshow,” said CAF president and CEO Stephan Brown. “Additionally, the CAF will look to partner with other leading innovative, historical, educational and entertainment-based organizations to accomplish its mission.”
While the CAF is looking for a new center, the current headquarters in Midland/Odessa, Texas, has already been designated as a CAF Airbase. Brown said plans are to upgrade the museum there and to continue the annual CAF Airsho at the Midland International Airport (MAF). The headquarter’s operations and personnel will, however, relocate to the location of the new National Airbase.
Real estate and consulting firm Jones Lang LaSalle has been retained to help in the search for the best location of the National Airbase, which will likely be in a major metropolitan area. Requirements for CAF’s Airbases include “runway length and width requirements, as well as a population minimum, economic incentives and tourism potential,” Brown said.