Portman, Brown, Turner, Beatty Letter Urges House & Senate Appropriations Committee Leaders to Extend Funding for Dayton’s National Aviation Heritage Area

December 13, 2019 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC  – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Representatives Michael Turner (R-OH) and Joyce Beatty (D-OH) sent a letter to U.S. Senators Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, and U.S. Representatives Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Kay Granger (R-TX), Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Appropriations, requesting the inclusion of an authorization to extend Dayton’s National Aviation Heritage Area (NAHA) in the final appropriations package for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. Senators Portman and Brown recently introduced legislation to reauthorize funding for Dayton’s National Aviation Heritage Area (NAHA) through FY2022.

NAHA spans eight counties throughout western Ohio, with a large presence in Dayton, the home of the Wright Brothers. There are a variety of cultural sites within the NAHA, including the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Park, Armstrong Air and Space Museum, Huffman Prairie Flying Field, and Grimes Flying Field, as well as resources related to the Wright Brothers.

“The National Aviation Heritage Area has over 2 million visitors per year, generating $35 million dollars in economic impact and supporting 1,500 jobs in the area. Additionally, the National Aviation Heritage Alliance, the management entity of the National Aviation Heritage Area, has consistently exceeded the overall 50 percent match requirement,” the Members wrote. “We therefore urge you to include a reauthorization of the National Aviation Heritage Area in a final appropriations package so that it can continue to be a successful public-private partnership that preserves America’s aviation heritage and enriches local communities through economic development and education.

As of April 2018, the National Aviation Heritage Area has more than two million visitors annually, generating $35 million in economic impact and supporting 1,500 jobs in the region.

Read the full letter here or below.

Dear Chairman Shelby, Ranking Member Leahy, Chairwoman Lowey, and Ranking Member Granger,

As you consider a final appropriations package for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, we respectfully urge you to include an authorization extension for the National Aviation Heritage Area. To date, federal funding for the National Aviation Heritage Area is scheduled to sunset on December 8, 2019. As passed in the House’s FY2020 Interior Appropriations bill, we urge any final appropriations package to include language extending the authorization of the National Aviation Heritage Area to September 30, 2022.

The National Aviation Heritage Area, established under P.L. 108-447, spans eight counties around Dayton, Ohio and is a destination for aeronautics tourism and a landmark for America’s aviation heritage. The heritage area includes the contributions of Paul Laurence Dunbar, nationally recognized as one of the first African-American poets, and the Wright Brothers, two American aviators credited with inventing, building, and flying the world’s first successful airplane. Contained within the heritage area is also one of Ohio’s historic national parks, Dayton Aviation Heritage National Park, as well as two cultural landscape sites - Huffman Prairie Flying Field and Grimes Flying Field. Furthermore, the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is located in the National Aviation Heritage Area region and is home to developments in future aerospace technology.

The National Aviation Heritage Area has over 2 million visitors per year, generating $35 million dollars in economic impact and supporting 1,500 jobs in the area. Additionally, the National Aviation Heritage Alliance, the management entity of the National Aviation Heritage Area, has consistently exceeded the overall 50 percent match requirement.

We therefore urge you to include a reauthorization of the National Aviation Heritage Area in a final appropriations package so that it can continue to be a successful public-private partnership that preserves America’s aviation heritage and enriches local communities through economic development and education.

Thank you for your consideration of our request.

Sincerely,  

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