EASTPORT, Maine — A grant from the Federal Aviation Administration at the Eastport Municipal Airport is good news for this seaside community.
U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, announced in a press release last week that the Eastport airport will receive $170,000 to build a fuel farm.
Eastport City Manager George “Bud” Finch said Monday, “The city is very pleased to have received final notice of the FAA funding for a fuel service center at the Eastport Municipal Airport. The notice of the award allows for the construction and installation of the automated fuel system to move forward in a timely manner. The system will be self-service providing both general aviation and jet fuel on a 24-hour basis.”
Use of the airport has expanded greatly over the past few years, Finch added, with the demand for locally provided fuel growing exponentially with it.
“The city expects air traffic to continue to increase with the addition of the fuel system and the ability to clear customs now in place,” Finch said. Customs officers are in the city and available for inspection.
The airport has seen a number of significant changes since the 1986 master plan was first released, Finch said.
In 1991 the main runway was rehabilitated, lengthening it from 2,850 feet to 4,000 feet, allowing it to handle far larger traffic, and in 1993 equipment was purchased allowing for greater weather and night traffic use.
Equipment for winter snow removal and mowing was purchased in 1996 and 2002.
In 2004 the taxiway was rebuilt to handle the larger planes that now use the airport, and in 2007 the first section of perimeter and security fencing was completed. The various improvements were funded through the FAA, Finch said.
“On a more local basis there is a new hangar currently under construction with construction of another hangar expected later in the summer,” Finch said.
In announcing the Eastport grant and a similar grant for the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport, Michaud said, “These grants will go to fund much needed infrastructure improvements. The projects funded increase the safety and self-sufficiency of these airports, which will benefit the surrounding communities.”