KANSAS CITY, Mo. — People visiting Kansas City for the NFL Draft won’t be able to go the Airline History Museum at what’s sure to be a busy Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport.

Doors remain padlocked as museum volunteers are engaged in a legal battle with the city and an airport operator.

The Airline History Museum cites a 2005 Master lease agreement guaranteeing the museum use of Hangar 9 through 2035.

Documents show ordinances and amendments approved by the city around that time allowing them to operate rent-free as long as it remained a not-for-profit airline museum.

But in September 2019 the museum’s operator says without notice the City decided it would have to start paying rent in December of that year.

By the end of 2021 according to a judgment by a Clay County Circuit Judge that rent and utilities totaled more than $140,000.

The Airline History Museum has filed an appeal and posted a bond it says should allow them to remain open while the legal matter is resolved. But says the hangar has been padlocked since last fall while they have no idea how millions of dollars worth of historic aircraft and artifacts may be deteriorating.

“We don’t know what’s happening with Signature birds if they are nesting in the airplanes causing corrosion if the water drips what’s happening to our artifacts,” John Roper, Airline History Museum president, said.

Inside that museum you can find the aircraft Harrison Ford famously crashed into a golf course. On the other side of a locked gate sits the world’s only Lockheed Constellation in full passenger configuration.

“We need people to reach out to city and ask exactly that why aren’t agreements between city and Signature Flight Support being honored allowing the museum to stay here and be a part of Kansas City’s community,” Roper said.

In response to the appeal an Attorney for the City of Kansas City wrote “The City cannot be liable to AHM for breach of the covenant of good faith as that covenant is implicit in a contract and the City does not have a contract with AHM.”

The response also says the museum doesn’t explain why the City lacks power to modify the lease with Executive Beechcraft/Signature.

“After thorough legal proceedings, the Court granted judgment to Signature Flight Support for back rent and possession of the space, which the Airline History Museum previously leased at the MKC Airport in downtown Kansas City. Despite AHM’s claims that its sublease had not terminated and that it did not have to pay rent, the Court found in Signature’s favor and granted judgment against AHM along with immediate possession of the premises to Signature. We believe that this ruling was just and fair.  AHM has not vacated the premises as the court ordered.  Nevertheless, Signature is continuing to preserve the museum’s artifacts pending an Appellate Court’s ruling,” a Signature Flight Support spokesperson wrote in a statement.

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An Appeals Court is set to hear the matter May 4.