Tonawanda News

January 5, 2013

Aerospace museum to offer great showcase for local aviation history at old Falls terminal.

Staff reports
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — The new Niagara Aerospace Museum is preparing to launch at the former passenger terminal at Niagara Falls International Airport. 

Local officials gathered with representatives from the museum at the future site on Friday to discuss what they hope will be a welcome attraction in a part of the community where aviation-related operations are all the buzz already. 

“I am excited about the prospects that our new location hold for the future,” said Paul Faltyn, curator for the Niagara Aerospace Museum. “Being located on an airport opens the doors to new avenues and marketing opportunities. I plan on expanding our existing displays and adding new displays to the over 100 years of collections we have. This great location for the residents and tourists will provide them a great outlet to learn of the rich history of aviation in our area.”

Museum officials recently accepted a two-year lease deal with the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority that will allow the aerospace museum to move into the former passenger terminal located next to the new terminal off Niagara Falls Boulevard in the Town of Wheatfield. 

The aerospace museum last operated in the Falls area in 2008 when it was located inside the Seneca Office Building downtown. The museum’s board was forced to move out of that facility when the building’s owners — the Seneca Gaming Corp. — moved its offices into the space. Museum officials are planning to re-open the museum to the public at the former passenger terminal sometime in May. The new museum will offer about 15,000 square feet of exhibit space. 

On Friday, local officials hailed the project as a great showcase of Western New York Aviation history.

“I am extremely pleased that the Niagara Aerospace Museum is coming back to Niagara County,” said state Sen. George D. Maziarz, R-Newfane. “Western New York has a rich history in aviation and I am glad that we were able to find a place where the community can enjoy and learn about this history for many years to come. I applaud the Niagara Aerospace Museum and NFTA for providing this permanent venue not only the residents to enjoy, but for the increasing number of tourists flying in and out of the Niagara Falls International Airport.”

“The re-location of the Niagara Aerospace Museum to the old terminal is really a win-win for Niagara County,” added Bill Ross, chairman of the Niagara County Legislature. “Not only will the museum further advance the airport complex itself, but adding it to the economic engine of this County, including all of the shovel-ready sites in close proximity, I can think of no better place. WNY and specifically Niagara County was a birthplace of early aviation, and the Niagara Aerospace Museum will be a great asset to the county’s economic development and tourism. “

The re-location is funded primarily from private source donations to the Niagara Aerospace Museum. The Museum will shortly begin construction for reformatting on the inside to provide visitors a time-line format for visitation. There will be between 8 and 10 aircrafts displayed among other artifacts, with use for displaying vintage planes on the runway outside upon visitation.