Smithsonian Institution:

Care of National Air and Space Museum Aircraft

T-GGD-96-192: Published: Sep 25, 1996. Publicly Released: Sep 25, 1996.

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GAO discussed its 1995 report on the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum's (NASM) aircraft restoration and preservation efforts, focusing on: (1) the adequacy of aircraft storage facilities; (2) recommendations for improving the care of museum aircraft; and (3) the Smithsonian's response those recommendations. GAO noted that: (1) NASM devoted relatively few resources to aircraft restoration in fiscal year 1994; (2) inadequate storage facilities contributed to the deterioration of previously restored aircraft; (3) NASM must compete with other Smithsonian museums for limited funding; (4) NASM ability to raise $100 million in private funds for the construction of a storage facility is in doubt; (5) NASM has drafted a new mission statement that will focus the museum on its original goal, but it has not established collecting priorities that are linked to that mission statement; and (6) NASM will launch a major capital campaign to raise funds for the Dulles extension facility.

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