Saturday, January 16, 2021

Stop Signature Flight Support from bullying the Airline History Museum at Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport (KMKC)

Airline History Museum at Kansas City Wheeler Downtown airport, needs your help. The Airline History Museum and Lockheed Constellation have been a landmark of Kansas City since 1986. Signature Flight Support wants to close the museum. Why...You might ask? Well we don’t know. We are written into the master lease and are a tenant through 2050 as part of that lease. Signature does not pay rent to the city for our property but are demanding that we pay rent to them.

For years there have been tens of thousands of square feet of empty hangars which Signature controls. With the removal of the VOR, there are acres of vacant land to build new hangars. There are areas that are rented out for non-aviation use, yet Signature is pressuring the museum to vacate.

So we need your help to ask the Aviation Department - WHY? Why is the Aviation Department and the City allowing this? Why has the Aviation Department and City Council allowed Signature to take $500,000 meant for our museum? Why does Signature refuse to return $61,500 in wrongfully collected rent.

Please ask City Councilwoman Teresa Loar, - WHY? Please ask Director of Aviation for KCMO Patrick Klein, - WHY? Please ask Wheeler Downtown Airport Manager Melissa Cooper, - WHY? Please ask Signature – WHY?

This isn't a request for money or donations, this is a request to bring awareness to the fact that the Airline History Museum is written into the new 2005 Master Lease to remain at its current location "as long as it remains a non-profit", however Signature is trying to use the terms of a terminated sublease from 2000 in an attempt to pressure the museum to close. The Kansas City Aviation Department has acknowledged the situation and agreed with the AHM but will not step in and right the wrong.

We cannot allow a Large Corporation to bully the city and our museum.

Read more here:


  1. Sounds like they’re managing this like they manage their FBO’s... it’s all about the money.

  2. Signature did the same thing at KAVL Asheville Regional Airport. Why are they forcing museums out?

  3. Signed and donated.
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. I signed and donated, but here's the problem(s).

    1. According to the city - and I had an email exchange with Aviation Director Pat Klein - Signature has the master lease on the land the museum occupies. This makes the museum Signature's tenant. I fully appreciate that this is a matter of dispute between Signature and the museum, but the city's position is clear - the dirt is leased to Signature, who sublets to the museum.

    2. Signature has given money to every politician and aviation lobbyist in every district where they have an operation. The museum might find some politicians to pay lip service to the "save the museum" cause, but those same politicians are ultimately bought and paid for by Signature and will not take consequential action to stop Signature. I have spoken to one Congressman who is in that EXACT position.

    3. Lastly, the museum would have done well to not acquire so many airplanes and focus their budget on two things - having a legal war chest and flying the Constellation. The Connie was by far the #1 driver in interest and fund raising for the museum and its "star power" (like the play on words?) was magnified by FLYING it. Yes, it's expensive and risky. But I know one of the head maintenance folks there and when he was hired / retained, one of the first things he did was to say "show me the corrosion on the Connie". There is no corrosion of consequence on that airplane. They're just nervous and stretched too thin to fly the airplane. The failure to keep the Connie flying puts the museum in the difficult position of being behind the 8 ball on funding AND likely having to disassemble and truck their star attraction and most important artifact off the property should Signature prevail. A profoundly sad set of circumstances.

    I've seen this same drama played out in other cities and it never ends well, especially for the volunteers who've put the sweat of their lives into preserving the airplanes. Hopefully, this time it will be different and the Connie and her sisterships will remain where they are.