The Fleet Air Arm Museum (FAAM) is delighted to announce that they will be reopening on 14 August 2020. Visitors will once again be able to return to the Yeovilton museum on the 75 anniversary weekend of VJ Day to discover all of the extraordinary galleries and aircraft which tell the historic story of the Royal Navy’s aviation arm.
The Fleet Air Arm Museum, which is part of the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) is based next to the home of the Fleet Air Arm, and one of the busiest military airbases in the country, the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton. The Museum provides a crucial public connection to the 80 year old air base. It is also one of the top three tourist attractions in Somerset and plays an important role in the local tourism economy welcoming over 80,000 visitors a year.
Due to the escalating Coronavirus Crisis, NMRN chose to close all of its sites, including the FAAM in March. Since then they have been clear about the devastating impact the loss of admission has had on their financial position.
The General Manager of the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Marc Farrance says “We are so pleased to announce that the museum will be opening to the public again and we are very eager to welcome visitors back through our doors. The COVID-19 crisis has had a devastating effect on our finances, as even though we are a National Museum 81% of our revenue is generated through our visitors. Now that we are able to reopen we are excited to see what the rest of the year will hold.”
When the Fleet Air Arm Museum reopens many of its signature exhibition spaces will be open for the public to explore, one of which boasts the historic Concorde 002 prototype as well as many other historic aircraft. However, some aspects of the museum will look a little different due to social distancing and safety measures. Marc Farrance describes one of these measures “We have been working hard to ensure that our museum will be a safe and welcoming place for visitors to enjoy. In order to do this we will be implementing a timed ticketing system and all bookings must be made online as this will ensure that we can accurately manage our capacity levels.”
As well as managing capacities, the museum will also adhere to social distancing measures. Marc has expanded on some of the logistical issues stating that “COVID-19 safety measures have presented a unique challenge for us when we reopen. We are keen to ensure visitors that they will still have a great day out with us and their safety and enjoyment is our highest priority. In order to ensure their safety and make guests feel comfortable we will be introducing a one-way route, protective screens and cashless payments.”
Full details on the museum’s safety measures will be announced when tickets go on sale on 6 August 2020 at 12pm via the National Museum of the Royal Navy’s website.
The museum has chosen to reopen on the 75 anniversary weekend of VJ Day, which marks the surrender of Japan and the end of the Second World War. Visitors can come along to the museum and learn about the role of the Fleet Air Arm during the Second World War. They can also see a variety of aircraft that would have been used during the period. As well as this the NMRN will also be marking this special occasion on their digital channels with a series of online virtual events in which they will be working in conjunction with the National Army Museum and the Royal Air Force Museum. The content for the commemoration will be announced over the coming days.
On the rest of the year, Marc comments “We are looking forward to the rest of the year and can’t wait to open on this special date. We hope that this will bring more people to the museum so that we can share the incredible stories of the Fleet Air Arm.”
For anyone wishing to donate to either Museum in support of their Covid-19 recovery, please visit https://www.nmrn.org.uk/get-