The Delaware Valley Historical Aircraft Association will need to wait a bit longer for federal approval to relocate a plane, extend its fence line to offer greater public viewing access and carry out other upgrades envisioned for the Easton Road museum.
In the meantime while the Navy reviews the four plans that were submitted in July, the Horsham Land Redevelopment Authority, during Wednesday’s meeting, approved a license agreement with the Navy, as well as a sublicense with DVHAA for repair and relocation of the P-3, currently located on Horsham Road.
HLRA Executive Director Mike McGee said the license agreements were approved “just in case” the federal government OKs the P-3 repair and relocation prior to the next HLRA board meeting on Nov. 14. If a federal approval is granted before then, DVHAA would not have to wait for the following board meeting to begin work, McGee said.
Because the museum property is part of shuttered Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove and is owned by the federal government, the Navy must approve any changes. Since the HLRA is the authority overseeing the base’s redevelopment, that entity, in turn, must serve as a go-between of sorts for agreements pertaining to land outside of the area that DVHAA currently leases.
“We anticipate getting final approval from the Navy for the move,” McGee said. “We would hope to be in our final round of discussions with Navy in the next couple weeks.”
A DVHAA volunteer in attendance said the organization is working to make sure proper liability insurance – which is required as part of the sub-license agreement - is in place.
McGee said license agreements would not be necessary for DVHAA’s other proposals, which include extending the fence to make it longer along Route 611 for easier public viewing and access; installing modular offices and trailers for its book collection; and creation of a veterans memorial, including a flagpole along Route 611.
The federal government owns the property currently in use by DVHAA. The Navy has a lease with the HLRA, which, in turn has a sublease with DVHAA. As part of the 862-acre redevelopment plan approved locally for Willow Grove air base, the air museum would nearly double its existing acreage to a total of 13 acres.