"Planes of Fame" Show Faces Possible Shutdown

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The Planes of Fame Air Museum, in Chino, California, plans to celebrate its 60th anniversary with its 25th annual airshow on May 6 and 7, but now a judge is scheduled to decide on April 20 if the show will be shut down. According to local news reports, a group of commercial tenants at Chino Airport asked the court for the closure, citing financial losses and hindrances to doing business. The show disrupts access and use of the airport for up to nine days, the complainants say, and creates traffic jams that keep customers away. The Museum has posted a petition on its website, seeking signatures of support to keep the show. “For the local community, the annual Air Show provides an economic stimulus to local businesses and entrepreneurs both on and nearby the airport,” says the Museum statement.

The show also is the main fundraising effort for the nonprofit museum, according to the Planes of Fame website. “Revenue from the annual Air Show helps us to carry on our mission to preserve aviation history, inspire an interest in aviation, education of the public, and honor aviation pioneers and veterans,” says the website. “Thousands of letters of support, phone calls, comments and offers of help have been received thus far and have only strengthened our resolve.” The museum first opened in Claremont, California, in 1957, with a collection of 10 airplanes, and moved to Chino in 1973. Planes of Fame now exhibits more than 150 aircraft.

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