April 30, 2014 - The Commemorative Air Force announced Tuesday it has selected the Dallas Executive Airport (RBD) as the location of its National Airbase and corporate headquarters. The news was announced during a special event held at the airport and comes after a one-year nationwide search that originally considered 23 cities.
Stephan C. Brown, CAF president/CEO, said the list was narrowed to six then to three finalists before the decision was made. “We are proud to announce that the CAF Board of Directors has selected Dallas Executive Airport as the location to build our National Airbase,” he said at the special event held on the ramp among the organization’s B-29 FIFI, B-24 Diamond Lil, Tuskegee Airmen-themed P-51C, B-17 Texas Raiders, and numerous other World War II aircraft.
RBD met the prerequisites for the new location, which included an airport large enough to operate CAF’s aircraft and air show and in a large metropolitan area, said CAF Chairman Neils Agather. “We unanimously found Dallas Executive to be the best fit with our needs.”
The CAF will move a few initial staff this year, and plans to complete the move from Midland, Texas, by the end of 2015.
The new CAF headquarters will include what Brown described as “a world-class aviation visitor attraction, unlike any other in the United States” that will include interactive displays, 4-D movie experiences, and hyper-realistic flight simulators.
“We will also be using the most interactive assets we have - the largest fleet of flying vintage military aircraft in the world. And to that end, we are announcing our plans to raise the funds necessary to build this facility, initially estimated at $40 million,” Brown added.
Adam Smith, executive vice president and National Airbase project leader, called the future facility a major tourism and educational asset for Dallas. “We have a unique opportunity at this location to inspire hundreds of thousands of children and adults with some incredible airplanes and also to share the important stories the aircraft carry, of human endeavor and sacrifice in the name of freedom,” he said.
The CAF plans to hold up to three major events per year, including an annual World War II air show. The CAF has more than 10,000 members and a fleet of 164 historic aircraft among its 83 units in 25 states. CAF aircraft perform in more than 300 air shows a year.