Airline History Museum fighting for its life

The Airline History Museum, which has been at Kansas City’s Wheeler Downtown Airport for 35 years, is in a fight for its life with Signature Flight Support.

The museum has filed a lawsuit against Signature, which holds the master lease with the city on several hangars at the airport, and wants the museum out or, barring that, to pay rent.

In a petition at, museum officials note: “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.”

The petition had garnered more than 6,500 signatures by March 30, 2021.

The museum isn’t asking those who sign for money or donations. Instead they are asking for help to increase awareness of the problem.

“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.”

The petition also includes the contact information for several city officials, including city council members, the director of aviation and the airport manager, with museum officials asking supporters to contact these people with a simple question: 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?”

Learn more about the museum at its website, as well as in this article from

Opened in 1986, the museum’s collection includes a Lockheed Constellation, a DC-3, a Martin 404, Navy SNJ World War II trainer, and the last 1932 Northrop Delta.

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