State Sen. George Maziarz was joined Friday by representatives of the Niagara Aerospace Museum and local leaders to announce the museum's re-location to the old terminal building at the Niagara Falls International Airport. Paul Faltyn, curator, and Hugh Neeson, developmental director of the Niagara Aerospace Museum, were on hand to announce this re-location back to Niagara County.
The Niagara Aerospace Museum recently entered into a lease with the NFTA to take over two-thirds of the old terminal building at the Niagara Falls International Airport. The new location will give the museum around 15,000 square feet of new display space. The museum is hoping to open its doors to the public at its new location in May. Local representatives worked with NFTA and the Niagara Aerospace Museum to mutually agree upon a lease that would reopen to the public this showcase of Western New York aviation history.
"I am extremely pleased that the Niagara Aerospace Museum is coming back to Niagara County," said Maziarz said. "Western New York has a rich history in aviation, and I am glad that we were able to find a place where the community can enjoy and learn about this history for many years to come. I applaud the Niagara Aerospace Museum and NFTA for providing this permanent venue not only (for) the residents to enjoy, but for the increasing number of tourists flying in and out of the Niagara Falls International Airport."
Faltyn said, "I am excited about the prospects that our new location hold for the future. Being located on an airport opens the doors to new avenues and marketing opportunities. I plan on expanding our existing displays and adding new displays to the over 100 years of collections we have. This great location for the residents and tourists will provide them a great outlet to learn of the rich history of aviation in our area. I thank NFTA and their staff for working closely with us to ensure the enjoyment of this museum will continue on for years to come."
Neeson said, "The development efforts will be focusing on gaining support and publicity for the upcoming reopening of the airport site. The close proximity of this location to not only the airport, but to other aerospace residents such as Calspan and the Air Reserve Station provide a unique location for residents and visitors alike to visit. This site was recently designated as a National Aerospace Historical Site, and I could not think of a better location for the museum."
Bill Ross, chairman of the Niagara County Legislature, said, "The re-location of the Niagara Aerospace Museum to the old terminal is really a win-win for Niagara County. Not only will the museum further advance the airport complex itself, but adding it to the economic engine of this county, including all of the shovel-ready sites in close proximity, I can think of no better place. WNY, and specifically Niagara County, was a birthplace of early aviation, and the Niagara Aerospace Museum will be a great asset to the county's economic development and tourism. "
Steve Richards, supervisor for the Town of Niagara, said, "This new location for the Niagara Aerospace Museum is a perfect fit for the community and the businesses around it. I am pleased that the old terminal will be used to display the history of WNY aviation, and this announcement is a large part to the ongoing success of this area."
Bob Cliffe, supervisor for the Town of Wheatfield, said, "I am extremely pleased the Niagara Aerospace Museum is re-locating to the old terminal, as this is an important piece of economic development to this area. The innovations in aviation that have happened right in this neighborhood both in the past and in the future make this location an essential part of the economic development in this county. I am excited for the opening this spring."
The re-location is funded primarily from private source donations to the Niagara Aerospace Museum. The facility will shortly begin construction for reformatting on the inside to provide visitors a time-line format for visitation. There will be approximately eight to 10 aircrafts displayed among other artifacts, with use for displaying vintage planes on the runway outside upon visitation.