[We get a lot of interesting letters here at
Aero-News, and many of them have some good ideas within. We
encourage and promote GA whenever possible, and it looks like Scott
Thomason may have one of the coolest ideas yet, providing access to
the new Udvar-Hazy exhobot, and at the same time giving GA pilots a
'privileged' access to the soon-to-open facility. Excerpts from his
letter are below, along with an initial response from the
I am in the process of trying to push forward the idea of
providing general aviation access to the new National Air and Space
Museum (NASM) Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles.
Below is the email "conversation" I've had with the PR office
over at NASM. They have not returned my last email detailing the
location of the current paved access to Dulles International.
I think all I lack is some political muscle to get this idea to
those who can make the decision to pursue this idea in greater
detail. I'm working on congressional contacts, but just being a
mere citizen might not have the weight necessary to get anything
I would appreciate if ANN could help me bring this idea to those
Sincerely, Scott Thomason
Scott has contacted the center with his idea.
He wrote to the Center: "I believe that the educational benefits
for kids (and grownups) to see actual aircraft arrive, depart, and
plan flights would be very appropriate to the education mission of
the Smithsonian NASM. The opportunity for kids to talk to actual
pilots and observe their actions is becoming increasingly rare in
these days of high security and the closing of small airports. The
experience, generosity, and knowledge of general aviation pilots
would definitely be an asset to the institution and the visitor
"I also think that it would be in the spirit of the Wright
Brothers to allow the periodic showing/exhibition of the newest
experimental and amateur-built aircraft designs. Many hours of
design and self-education go into these aircraft and are the
epitome of the American can-do spirit and adventure that typify so
many of the aircraft that will reside within the halls of the new
facility. The ability to fly to the new museum would
facilitate these exhibitions, and would probably result in many
informal presentations as pilots fly in from around the country and
are greeted by curious onlookers as they arrive."
...and they wrote back
Here's part of the reply he received, from Karen DeThomas at
Udvar-Hazy: "Thank you for your interest in the Steven F.
Udvar-Hazy Center. Unfortunately, there is no taxiway access
between Dulles International Airport and the Center which will open
on December 15, 2003."
Well, what do you think?