DAYTON, Ohio – After temporarily closing on March 15 to protect the health and safety of visitors, staff, and volunteers from the coronavirus, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, along with the National Aviation Hall of Fame, will officially reopen to the public July 1, 2020.
“While the museum is excited to reopen, our top priority is the health and safety of our visitors and our entire museum family,” officials said. “Therefore, we’ve carefully developed reopening guidelines following the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the State of Ohio, local health experts, and peer institutions across the country.”
Cleaning procedures have been enhanced throughout the museum, including an increased frequency in the disinfecting of high-traffic areas and surfaces, museum officials report. Hand sanitizer stations are available in each gallery and new directional signage is also in place.
In addition, plexiglass sneeze guards have been installed at all of the cashier stations in the Valkyrie Café, Museum Store, Air Force Museum Theatre, and simulator rides.
To better protect the public, all visitors will be directed to enter the museum via a new entrance to the right of the traditional entrance. Visitors ages three and up will be required to wear masks during their visit to the museum.
Throughout the initial reopening phase, most galleries and exhibits will be available to visitors for self-touring, and all visitors should maintain 6 feet of separation between each visiting party at all times.
Daily guided tours will not be available at this time. (Those wishing to lead a large group for self-touring must contact the museum in advance to determine if this is feasible.)
Exhibits that will be temporarily closed include all walk-through aircraft, sit-in cockpits, space shuttle simulators, Eighth Air Force Control Tower and Nissen Hut. Interactive exhibits may be modified or removed in the near term. The playground will be closed, but park areas and picnic tables will remain open.
The Valkyrie Café, Museum Store, Air Force Museum Theatre, and simulator rides will operate with new restrictions and will only accept credit cards. The Valkyrie Café will be open for up to 120 people at a time and offer a limited menu. Only bottled beverages will be sold. The Refueling Café in the Cold War Gallery overlook will remain closed.
Water fountains will also no longer be available, but visitors may bring in a clear sealed water bottle (up to 20 oz), or purchase one from the Museum Store, Valkyrie Café, or Air Force Museum Theatre concession stand.
The Air Force Museum Theatre will show one film per hour beginning at 11 a.m. each day and limit seating to 45 people per screening. For films that require 3D glasses, a new pair will be issued with each ticket purchased.
All simulator rides will also be open but visitors may experience longer wait times for rides as they are sanitized between each customer.
For additional information on the Air Force Museum Foundation amenities including the theatre schedule, visit AFMuseum.com.
The National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF), co-located at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, will also reopen on July 1.
Additional information on the museum’s reopening plans is available at: NationalMuseum.af.mil/Home/Reopening.
Still not comfortable going out in public? You can visit the museum virtually at NationalMuseum.af.mil/Visit/Virtual-Tour.
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, is the world’s largest military aviation museum. With free admission and parking, the museum features more than 350 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 19 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year more than 800,000 visitors from around the world come to the museum.