|Final Locations Announced for the New CAF National Airbase |
Final Locations Announced for the New CAF National Airbase
The Commemorative Air Force is pleased to announce the eight final locations under consideration for the home of the new CAF National Airbase. The search for a new headquarters began in May of 2013 with more than 25 interested and viable locations. After careful consideration of each potential location, the General Staff have narrowed the list to (alphabetical by airport):
Alliance Airport, Ft. Worth, Texas
Collin County Airport, McKinney, Texas (Dallas Metropolitan)
Dallas Executive Airport, Dallas, Texas
Ellington Field Airport, Houston, Texas
Lackland/Kelly Airport, San Antonio, Texas
New Century Airport, Kansas City/Olathe, Kansas
North Texas Regional Airport, Sherman/Dennison, Texas (Dallas Metropolitan)
Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport, Smyrna, Tennessee (Nashville Metropolitan)
"Each of these eight locations has the potential to help propel the Commemorative Air Force to a higher plane of awareness and national impact," said CAF President/CEO Stephan C. Brown. "Our mission is Education - such that Americans will value and support the contributions of military aviation in assuring our nation's freedom. In order to reach and impact the largest audience possible, the CAF is in need of a strong location that offers a significant permanent population as well as a thriving tourism opportunity."
The CAF National Airbase facility will feature a year-round aviation attraction, house Headquarters staff and member-volunteers who will organize and execute an annual warbird Airshow and fly-in, and be a base of operations for some of the CAF's most significant flying vintage military aircraft.
"We were excited to see strong interest from many communities across the country which our team carefully evaluated," said Brown. "The General Staff worked closely with international real estate and consulting firm, Jones Lang LaSalle to host a bidders' conference in Dallas in early June where 23 locations were represented. Within the few short weeks following the conference, the General Staff received 18 inquiries from across the country. After carefully scrutinizing each location, the board narrowed potential sites to these eight strong prospects. Over the next few months, the General Staff will conduct an extensive investigation, proposal and negotiation process to further narrow the potential sites and ultimately select a new location."
At the CAF Annual General Membership Meeting in October 2013, the CAF membership will vote to give the General Staff the authority to select the location of the National Airbase from the list of finalists. While the members will not directly vote to select the final location, CAF members will authorize their member-elected General Staff to make the best decision for the future of the CAF. The formal voting process will require three-fourths approval of the voting membership. At the conclusion of an externally-audited vote, the General Staff will begin the next stage of the selection process.
Each of the eight locations will be thoroughly analyzed to ensure the final selection accommodates all of the criteria put forth by the General Staff. The home of the new CAF National Airbase and Headquarters operation will be located in a major metropolitan area with a minimum population of one million with ease of access to tourists and CAF membership through a nearby major international airport and an infrastructure of interstate highways. Other criteria include:
Approximately 150 to 200 acres adjacent to an airport capable of supporting CAF facilities, operations and a significant fly-in or Airshow
Strong local demographics and easy access to a large pool of potential visitors and members
A major reliever airport with limited scheduled carrier activity
Open airspace around and above the airport
Runway length of 7,000 by 150 feet or more
Visibility and ease of access
Room and ability to grow
Cooperative airport management and tower
Runways, taxiways and ramp areas capable of handling the aircraft of the CAF fleet
Brown said the General Staff envisions this new National Airbase as the pinnacle of the organization's 60 existing facilities currently spread over 28 states and maintained by the CAF's 10,000 member-volunteers.
"The CAF National Airbase will house and serve as a stage to share a rotating group of the most significant military aviation assets in history," Brown concluded. "For more than 55 years we have been restoring, maintaining and operating the world's largest fleet of flying vintage military aircraft and we expect this Airbase to become a premier destination for the chosen host city." Stephan C. Brown
Membership Approval: To make this move, as dictated by the CAF Constitution and Bylaws, the General Staff must approve the move of Headquarters by a vote of nine out of 11 members. This decision occurred in April, with a formal vote to amend the Bylaws in July, and both decisions were approved unanimously. Next, three-fourths of the voting CAF members must approve the amendment. Here is the key element: We need everyone to vote! This vote will occur at the annual membership meeting, held at AIRSHO this October. Typically, 300 to 500 members attend this meeting. Members may vote at the meeting or, they may request an absentee ballot if they won’t be attending. Please request an absentee ballot now by mailing your request to Keith Lawrence at Headquarters, or by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org. The reason you need to do this is to guarantee the long-term health of the CAF. (Note: Even if you plan to attend the meeting, it’s a good idea to request an Absentee Ballot in case something comes up and your plans to attend change.)
If you think about it, positive news is often met with complacency. You might be reading this and saying, SURE! It makes perfect sense for the CAF Headquarters to establish a new National Airbase in a different location, so, since I agree, I don’t need to do anything. WRONG! The CAF needs each of you who agree to cast a positive vote, because, others who might not agree will definitely vote against the amendment. Please ensure that the vocal minority does not outweigh quiet majority — by requesting an Absentee ballot NOW and voting For the amendment when you receive it. (Look for your Ballot to arrive approximately Oct. 21, then mail it to the auditor before the deadline.)
Appropriate Location: From the 23 cities that showed interest, the General Staff has selected eight potential sites. These sites all have plusses and minuses relative to one another, but all of them qualify by meeting the CAF’s basic requirements, including ease of access for members and visitors, affordable lodging, population, runways, weather and airport suitability. From this point, negotiations will occur to help determine the best fit for the CAF for the long term.
Q: So what does this vote do? Are we the members selecting the next Headquarters location?
A: With this vote For the amendment, you, the membership, empower the General Staff to select the next Headquarters from the list of eight finalists. This is a one-time empowerment, and for only one of the eight locations listed.
Q: Does this mean that in five years, the General Staff can decide to move Headquarters again to another location?
A: NO. The language you are being asked to approve is to allow the General Staff to choose the Headquarters location to one of the eight listed locations only. If, for example, the General Staff were to decide to move the Headquarters in the future, it would require three-fourths of the voting membership to approve.
Q: Why can’t we just vote on the final selection of the city for Headquarters?
A: This severely cripples the ability for the General Staff to negotiate the best possible economic incentives for the CAF from the potential locations. Also, cities will not want to invest a lot of time and money pursuing the CAF if they feel that the membership could vote against their city. In order to negotiate in good faith with these locations, the General Staff needs this authority from YOU, the members.
Members can click here to visit the Member's Only Section with all the information regarding the upcoming election.