Naval Air Museum Barbers Point believes it's wrongfully evicted by the state
Operators of a historic museum on Oahu have been told by the state to move out immediately. People at the Naval Air Museum at Barbers Point believe they're being wrongfully evicted. Since late September, tours at the museum have been suspended.
“We were very shocked. We weren’t expecting at all. We’re in compliance, according their reasons for evicting us in the letter," Brad Sekigawa, Naval Air Museum vice president, said.
The surprise came in a letter from the State Department of Transportation Airports Division. It said the facility lacks insurance and failed to address environmental issues like oil leaks and spills. The museum admits there were some oil stains under certain vehicles but it has since been cleaned up.
“Those items were presented to Department of Transportation airports but they still went ahead with the eviction," Sekigawa said.
The museum has been at the Kalaeloa Airport since 1999 and every year, it draws in more than 2,000 visitors.
Some tours were led by veteran Doug Gillet, who was a Navy Flight engineer for 31 years.
"I would just hope that nobody, you know the state doesn’t close the museum down. In my opinion, it’s part of Hawaii," Gillet said.
DOT says it’s willing to continue dialogue with the museum but the notice to vacate is in effect.
It also sent KITV4 this statement saying it “provided multiple opportunities to correct the unauthorized use of land outside its permitted area and it has failed to comply.”
?The non-profit’s administrators also pushing for discussions towards a solution.
“We want to workout what they want us to workout so we can stay here and continue to be a tenant," Kimberly McCaskey, Naval Air Museum board member, said.