Senators’ bill would designate Fort Wayne for airmail museum

Indiana’s U.S. senators have introduced legislation designating a large aircraft hangar in Fort Wayne as the site of a proposed National Airmail Museum.

The legislation sponsored by Republican Sen. Todd Young and Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly mirrors a proposal Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Banks introduced in February.

The Journal Gazette reports the companion bill’s goal is to improve the chances both chambers of Congress will back making Fort Wayne’s Smith Field the museum’s site.

The museum would be privately financed and include aircraft displays, interactive exhibits, photography displays, a gift shop and a cafe.

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.