Congress backs designating city for airmail museum

By The Associated Press

FORT WAYNE — Congress has endorsed designating Fort Wayne’s Smith Field as the site of a planned National Airmail Museum.

The U.S. Senate voted last week in favor of a Federal Aviation Administration bill that included the airmail museum. The House approved the legislation last month.

The Journal Gazette reports bill prohibits the use of federal money for the project. Advocates hope to raise about $2.5 million to overhaul an aircraft hangar for the museum.

Museum advocate Bob Wearley says congressional backing is a big step and that attention will turn to building public support.

Commercial airmail service started at Smith Field in 1930 — then known as Paul Baer Municipal Airport. Both Baer and Art Smith were celebrated pilots from Fort Wayne who died in plane crashes while delivering mail.

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