The Naval Air Station Wildwood (NASW) Aviation Museum has focused on how the museum will reemerge from the COVID-19 crisis.
Director Bruce Fournier noted that the museum has always been innovative and creative in its marketing.
“We are not on Beach Drive or the boardwalk, so we have always worked hard to let visitors know the history of NASW and where the building is actually located. Hangar 1 has hosted school graduations, proms, the Runway 5K, County Veteran’s Day Ceremony, and dozens of weddings," he stated.
Following a Zoom meeting with an engaged couple, the staff realized the museum could use the building’s design as part of the reopening safety protocol. This particular couple was captivated by the 38’ high hangar doors. With the doors in the open position, airflow is enhanced and visibility of sunsets on the west side is remarkable. Coincidentally, all 24 of the large hangar doors were recently restored, now operational with new steel wheels, wood siding and paint. Thus, the idea to have a 92,000 square-foot “open-air” museum with a roof was introduced.
As NASW continues to wait for approval to open to the public, plans are being established to ensure the health and safety of guests and staff. These steps include opening the large hangar doors daily to allow fresh air flow, limiting guest capacity, hand sanitizing stations, Plexiglas sneeze guards in gift shop, and marking six-foot social distancing reminders on the floor.
Chairman Joseph E. Salvatore, MD, added, “We anticipate face masks will be required as well for all guests and staff.”
Whatever the case, NASW will be ready to welcome the public.