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September 8, 2008

Mr. Darren Newton, BRAC Environmental Coordinator
Navy BRAC Program Management Office West
1455 Frazee Road, Suite 900
San Diego, CA 92108-4310

Dear Mr. Newton:

My name is Wes De Cou. I am the Western Region Flying Site Coordinator for the Academy of Model Aeronautics, an organization representing over 150,000 model aviation enthusiasts here in the United States, as well as our members who are in the Armed Forces stationed overseas.

I’m writing to you today to ask your consideration for a plan to restore the dirigible hangar at Moffett Field to a useful condition.

Re-skinned and refurbished, Hangar One could be a wonderful multi-use facility of significant benefit to its local communities. The area encompassed by the hangar could be used as an educational and recreational venue, as a museum, as a world class indoor model flying site…any of a multitude of potential uses.

Members of the Academy fly regularly at the dirigible hangar at historic Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey. That site provides our east coast members with an opportunity to hone their skills to the highest level, allowing them to compete for positions on teams representing the United States in international competitions. Organized events are held in that hangar almost every month of the year, snow conditions permitting.

Obviously, Hangar One at Moffett could be a destination for western modelers on a year-round basis and for national or international events as they are scheduled. The positive impact of such events on the local economy can be substantial.

Model aviation provided the spark that fired the imaginations of nearly all of our early astronauts. It was their door to the future. It continues to provide that stimulus for people of all ages today, providing evidence of real-life aeronautical engineering principles you can hold in your hand.

A museum? Classrooms? A theater? There are myriad options and opportunities for the beneficial use of a restored Hangar One.

I urge you to defer any immediate final decision on the matter, and to support City Councilman Jac Siegel’s call for a committee to coordinate efforts to plan for the beneficial use of Hangar One, as reported in The Mountain View Voice.

Hangar One should be a venue where one can look at history and dream of the future.

It should not be abandoned as a skeletal relic of the past.

Thanks for your consideration.

Wes De Cou

AMA Flying Site Assistance Coordinator

Western Region

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