Chicagoland's Only Aviation Museum

Classic Flight: Museum and Airport News

Notice: this articles has been reproduced as originally published. 

Aurora Here We Come

By Rod Kath

Our present lease [at DuPage Airport] is set to expire on January 31, 1998. The Board of Directors of the Museum has reviewed the aviation environment at all of the airports in Northeastern Illinois and are of the opinion that Aurora Municipal Airport provides a vibrant civic and business environment for museum growth. We feel there is mutual benefit in having a public museum operate from a municipal airport for the benefit of the citizens it serves.

Air Classics has given a proposal to the City of Aurora that would allow for the Museum the use of space at the Aurora Municipal Airport to establish a public museum. The Museum board met with the Aurora Airport advisory board on Monday June 9, 1997 and presented their proposal to the board. The Airport Advisory board was receptive to the proposal and has agreed to pass their recommendation for approval on to the Aurora City Council. The Aurora City Council should received the proposal and act on it before the end of summer.

To accomplish this goal , Air Classics proposes to move from DuPage County Airport to Aurora Municipal Airport and establish an interactive educational aviation museum. An inventory of available space at Aurora Airport has revealed that the ground floor and basement of building #5 would provide an ideal relocation facility for the museum. In addition, we have requested that we would be given the use of an outside display area no prop zone that measures 230 ft by 160 ft.

Aurora Municipal Airport is located south west of the city of Aurora and is only 21 miles away and a half hour drive from our current Museum. The Airport is located near major Highways (Route 30, 47 and 56).

Air Classics will operate a public museum at Aurora Airport with a long range goal of building a world class aviation museum on a mutually agreeable site. It is clear to us involved in the Museum's short history, that the demographics of this metropolitan area will support such an endeavor. We have experienced excellent response from the educational community at DuPage Airport and as analysis of our attendance statistics reveals teachers, students and school districts in general will travel as far as fifty miles to participate in an interesting museum field trip. Additionally, we have had no difficulty developing area youth tours and programming at our facility.

In 1996 the Museum was host to over 25,000 area residents. They participated in organized tours, general daily admissions and special events at our facility. the organized tours included the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Brownies, tours from local school districts, senior citizens and handicapped residents. In addition area businesses, civic organizations and aviation associations have held meetings and club events in the Museum setting. Our special events included open house at the Museum in the spring and fall of the year, which are free to the public. These events included static displays of aircraft, custom car shows, new automobile reviews from local dealers, displays from local businesses and afforded the opportunity for area service clubs to interact with the public at the Museum. The attendance at our fall event was estimated by the West Chicago Fire Protection District at over 8,000 people.

This is a difficult choice for the Museum to make, but it is critical to the future of the Museum that we are at a location where we have the opportunity to grow and further develop the museum. We feel that the city of Aurora will give us that opportunity to grow.

Aurora is a fast growing city. The city is poised to be the second largest city in the Illinois by the year 2010.

The Museum will provide unlimited opportunities for the aviation community to interact with the general public in the city of Aurora and the surrounding area.

Signs of Aurora's Growth and Success

Air Classics Museum of Aviation
43W624 US Route 30
Sugar Grove, IL 60554
Phone: (630) 466-0888

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