Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10) included language in the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 to keep the headquarters of the National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) in Ohio. Congressman Turner released the following statement:
“Dayton leaders founded the National Aviation Hall of Fame in the early 1960s. NAHF leadership has repeatedly threatened to take the organization outside of Ohio. I take that threat seriously, which is why I’ve included language in the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 ensuring the NAHF must remain in Ohio to keep its congressional charter.
“The NAHF leadership’s mismanagement is the primary driver behind the organization’s financial failures--failures its leadership is working diligently to keep hidden. The NAHF is still refusing to provide all of the requested documents to our Blue Ribbon Panel, which I convened for the purposes of making recommendations to establish long-term financial viability for the NAHF in Dayton.
“Based on what has been provided to the Panel at this time, it is clear the current leadership of the NAHF has failed. The Hall has reported annual net losses in excess of $140,000 for the past 13 fiscal years in a row, punctuated by recent losses of $340,939 in 2012 and $185,054 in 2015. NAHF has lost money annually since 2001. The financial disarray the NAHF leadership has wreaked is truly staggering.
“I look forward to the conclusions reached by the Blue Ribbon Panel throughout their meetings this summer to put the NAHF back on track toward financial sustainability.”
On January 25th, Congressman Turner sent a letter to the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Aviation Hall of Fame stating he will investigate the Congressionally Chartered organization after receiving troubling information concerning their finances.
On January 30th, Congressman Turner received support from two National Aviation Hall of Fame Trustees Katie McCallum and Donald I. VanDerKarr after announcing his plans to investigate the NAHF.
On February 1st, Congressman Turner sent a letter to Chairman of the Board of Trustees Bill Harris alerting him that the NAHF must cease and desist all deliberations, efforts or activities that relate to selling or disposing of artifacts in the NAHF’s possession.
On February 6th, Congressman Turner announced Phil Parker President and CEO of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, Jeff Hoagland, President and CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition and Brady Kress, President and CEO of Dayton History will be tasked with forming a Blue Ribbon Panel to create a sustainable plan for the NAHF’s future.
On February 6th, both Senator Rob Portman and the Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee Rob Bishop (UT-01) expressed their support of the investigation and the Blue Ribbon Panel.
On February 14th, NAHF President Michael J. Quiello said in an interview with Dayton Daily News that the NAHF could “vote to pick up the Hall of Fame and move it to some other city that’s welcoming to us.”
On February 15th, Congressman Turner sent a letter informing Bill Harris, Chairman of the NAHF Board of Trustees, that he was drafting legislation to terminate the congressional charter of the NAHF.
Congressman Turner is exercising his oversight authority to investigate these allegations concerning the congressionally chartered organization.