The Bangor International Airport will repave its entire 11,000-foot runway starting next summer as part of a $28 million project that’s expected to affect airport traffic.
Airport Director Anthony Caruso said construction on the 11,440-by-200 foot runway is expected to run from May through October of 2023 and 2024, during tourist season when airport traffic picks up. The airport hopes to receive grants to help cover the cost.
The length of Bangor’s runway — it’s long enough to accommodate the space shuttle — and its position at the last major airport for jets headed across the Atlantic has made it a common destination for diverted flights over the years.
The airport is also home to an Air National Guard base, where Guard members provide in-flight refueling to military aircraft.
Caruso said the extensive project will “certainly affect traffic, and we intend to coordinate closely with all users, which includes the airlines and the Guard bases. We will work with the users to minimize the impact and remain open for flights.”
According to initial plans, each end of the runway will be paved at different times so the end that’s not being repaved can still be used, said Caruso.
Caruso said the runway was last rehabilitated 20 years ago.
Last October, the airport closed for two days to address degradation in the runway’s concrete that can create deformities. The Bangor City Council allowed the airport to use $282,000 in unused grant funding to pay for the repairs.
Before work can begin, the airport needs to complete design and engineering work this year because a larger runway rehabilitation project can begin.
The Bangor airport will use $300,000 it received from the Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday to fund the preliminary work.
That $300,000 comes from the administration’s fiscal year 2022 Airport Improvement Program, which will give $14.8 million to 10 Maine airports to make infrastructure improvements, Sen. Susan Collins’ office announced Tuesday.
The largest portion of funding, $11.2 million, went to the Portland International Jetport to fund its runway rehabilitation.
The FAA will also give Presque Isle International Airport $971,752 to purchase aircraft rescue and firefighting safety equipment, construct a taxi lane, reconstruct perimeter fencing and seal apron, runway and taxiway pavement surface and joints.
The Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport will also receive $650,000 to improve airport drainage and conduct erosion control.