Wilmington city council votes unanimously in favor of new Air Force One Museum

Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Tuesday night, city council members voted unanimously to support building an Air Force One Museum and White House gallery in Wilmington.

December 1, the Transportation Advisory Committee endorsed a proposal to have the museum built on public land, if it is privately funded.

Backers are hoping to bring a retired Air Force One jet and an historical exhibit to a plot of land adjacent to Wilmington International Airport.

Howie Franklin, a former Air Force One flight attendant and the director of the Brunswick County airport is heading up the $38 million project.

Council's resolution says the project will be financed privately, with no public money.

"This Wilmington area, being in one of the fastest growing places in the United States, and we have great weather, waterfront property," said Franklin.  "People come here and they pass through. The board looked at all of those things, and before they passed a resolution to make it in North Carolina, all those things added up and they said it's the right place."

"It's exciting, I mean obviously we've endorsed the concept here today, of the Air Force One Museum coming here, and what Howie Franklin shared with us today is obviously this is going to be a privately funded museum by folks that have a very serious passion about preserving the history of Air Force One," said Mayor Bill Saffo.

The Air Force One museum board is looking at other possible locations in North Carolina.  They hope to make a final decision next month.