The New England Air Museum reopened its five-acre outdoor grounds for Memorial Day Weekend. Visitors had an opportunity to see 10 aircraft outside, peek inside exhibit hangars through open hangar doors, and get a behind-the-scenes look into the museum’s storage hangar, a space that is rarely open to the public.
This outdoor museum experience was free to visitors Saturday, May 23, through Monday May 25, with a suggested donation of $5 per person. Hours of operation were from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. all three days. To ensure the health and safety of the museum’s visitors, staff and volunteers, the museum followed all COVID-19 rules issued by Governor Ned Lamont and the Reopen Connecticut panel. No more than 200 people were allowed onsite at any time.
“We are excited about this opportunity to welcome visitors back to our museum,” says Debbie Reed, the museum’s Executive Director. “We needed to find the right balance between keeping our visitors, staff and volunteers safe while also providing a great experience. I believe the planning we have done will accomplish this,” Reed says.
The New England Air Museum voluntarily closed its doors on March 14, to assist the state in its efforts to control the spread of COVID-19. In the weeks since, all of the museum’s interior spaces and exhibits have been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. The museum’s staff has also continued working, primarily from home, to develop educational content for families and aviation enthusiasts across the region through its NEAMathomewebsite and social media platforms.
Until the State of Connecticut further relaxes the rules and allows for the opening of interior museum spaces, the New England Air Museum will continue to allow visitors to access its outdoor grounds following essential social distancing practices. Details of the plans for the remainder of the summer will be released shortly.
The museum is located at 36 Perimeter Road (off Route 75) in Windsor Locks. For more information visit neam.org or call 860-623-3305.