Today the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands conducted a legislative hearing on the National Aviation Heritage Area (NAHA) Reauthorization Act, a bipartisan bill introduced by Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10) that is designed to extend the authorization for the National Aviation Heritage Area (NAHA) for seven years.
“With Dayton being the birthplace of aviation, I am proud to be the lead sponsor of this legislation to preserve Dayton’s National Aviation Heritage Area.” said Turner. “This bill will reauthorize NAHA for an additional seven years to ensure NAHA receives the vital federal funds they need to operate the Heritage Area and preserve our community’s rich aviation history.”
H.R. 1990 reauthorizes the National Aviation Heritage Area until 2026 to ensure that NAHA continues to receive the vital federal funds they need to operate the Heritage Area. The NAHA spans 54 acres and 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. 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.
In 2004, Congress created the NAHA in Dayton in the 2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 108-447). That legislation included a sunset provision that terminated federal funding for the NAHA after 15 years. This legislation would ensure seven years of additional funding.
The NAHA Reauthorization Act has gained support from various organizations:
- The Air Force Museum Foundation INC.
- Dayton Development Coalition
- Wright Image Group INC.
- U.S. Department of the Interior
- Air Camp INC.
- Armstrong Air and Space Museum
- Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce
- Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio
- Woodland Historic Cemetery & Arboretum