Bruce Friesen and the team of volunteers at the Canadian Museum of Flight have modified the indoor displays to better accommodate social distancing. And their now ready to show off their display again, to the public as of Friday, June 26. (Carla Deminchuk/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Flaps up and prepare for lift off: Langley museum ready to take flight again

Canadian Museum of Flight re-opens to the public, after three months of behind the scene’s work

Canadian Museum of Flight prefers to call the “new normal” their “new busy.”

After being closed to the general public for more than three months, the museum has finally reopened, president Bruce Friesen confirmed Friday.

But while they were closed to the public, there were many individuals in the museum during that time, toiling away.

“We were extremely productive during the covid lockdown,” Friesen said.

Anticipating a pent-up thirst for what the museum has to offer when given the nod to reopen, Friesen encouraged the museum’s team of committed volunteers to “be ready.”

And they are, he insisted.

“Undaunted, and inspired by the museum’s aircraft and artifacts that the museum has collected and preserved for more than 40 years – many of them related to the winning of two world wars – the team was more than ready to conquer the challenge of pandemic protocol.”

Their biggest issue was the reorganization of a cramped hangar into an area that would allow visitors to still get up close and personal with aircraft and the various displays, while maintaining social distancing, Friesen explained.

The museum team feels visitors will be happy with the result.

Many of the displays and aircraft are outside, providing a natural COVID barrier. But still, to adhere to distancing guidelines, the number of visitors inside the hangar will be limited – so visitors are asked to pre-book their trip.

Visitors should also bring their own mask, and there will be signage, extra staff on-site, and hand-sanitizer stations, said Friesen.

“Everyone will feel comfortable and safe,” he added.

Another challenge was the cancellation of events celebrating the 75th anniversary of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.

Months before the pandemic struck, volunteers began working on a special exhibit that was going to be displayed at the local 2020 air shows.

Unfortunately, that will not happen due to the cancellation of all local air shows, but the display is now mounted on a section of hangar wall. The display pays homage to dozens of BCATP training bases, including Abbotsford and Boundary Bay, which were instrumental in building those future communities, Friesen said.

The museum is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is located at 5333-216th St. – at the Langley Regional Airport. Visitors are asked to call 604-532-0035, or stop in at the museum gift shop to pre-booked a visit – the gift shop obviously being open without advance registration.

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