Two County airports to receive FAA funding

Posted March 05, 2010, at 7:11 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:32 a.m.

FRENCHVILLE, Maine — Two Aroostook County airports will get support in dealing with snow and ice removal and equipment storage at their respective facilities thanks to more than $417,000 in funding from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA is investing more than $4.5 million in airports throughout the state, including $297,017 for Northern Maine Regional Airport in Presque Isle and $120,687 for Northern Aroostook Regional Airport in Frenchville.

David Fernald, airport manager in Frenchville, said Friday that the money is going toward construction of a snow removal equipment building at the airport. The building, which was completed last year, provides shelter to protect equipment from the effects of weather.

“The building is located off a turnaround taxiway area at the end of Runway 14,” he said. “The building is all completed and we began using it last winter. Prior to having it, we had to store all of our snow removal equipment in a converted hangar.

“This new building makes everything much easier,” he noted Friday.

In Presque Isle, Northern Maine Regional Airport will use the grant to purchase snow removal equipment. The new vehicle with a 16-foot plow will assist the airport in maintaining safe and operable conditions during periods of inclement weather.

Representatives from the state’s congressional delegation were pleased to hear news of the funding for Maine airports.

“Maine’s aviation infrastructure keeps our residents connected with the rest of the country and the world,” Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins said in a joint statement. “These funds will help local airports make the necessary upgrades and developments to improve air service and safety.”

Rep. Mike Michaud said that the significant funding would go a long way at a time when dollars are stretched thin.

“These investments will create jobs and help these airports with needed upgrades,” said Michaud. “These are tough economic times and these grants supply much needed investment in our state’s infrastructure at a time we can use it most. Economic development and business attraction require sound infrastructure, and the im-provements made at these airports will not only ensure increased safety, but also help promote new business.”

Other Maine airports receiving FAA funding are Bangor International, $2,544,083; Hancock County-Bar Harbor, $200,000; Old Town Municipal, $130,000; Newton Field in Jackman, $150,000; and Greenville, $109,037.

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