Aircraft Preservation:

Preserving DOD Aircraft Significant to Aviation History

NSIAD-88-170BR: Published: May 31, 1988. Publicly Released: Jun 13, 1988.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the National Historic Preservation Act to determine whether: (1) the act was adequate to ensure that the Department of Defense (DOD) took appropriate steps to preserve historically significant aircraft; and (2) DOD took adequate steps to preserve and ensure public access to its historically significant aircraft.

GAO found that: (1) the act applied to DOD aircraft; (2) the act required federal agencies to nominate to the Secretary of the Interior, all properties that qualified for listing on the National Register of Historic Places; (3) National Park Service guidelines allowed DOD to nominate aircraft with historic significance for listing on the National Register; (4) DOD believed that an F-4D aircraft at the Air Force Academy did not have sufficient significance in aviation history to exempt it from an age requirement; (5) in 1986, the National Park Service included in its guidelines aircraft structures as eligible for nomination for the National Register, and eliminated the historic setting requirement; and (6) although the military services did not nominate any aircraft to the National Register, they preserved significant aircraft in their museum collections.

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