17 Maine airports will share in more than four million dollars of federal money to do a series of improvement projects. Two airports in our area are on the receiving end of the funding. Shawn Cunningham reports.
These passengers are waiting for a flight out of Northern Maine Regional Airport. But they’d be excited to learn of what’s COMING IN. More than three hundred thousand dollars from the U.S. Department of Transportation to upgrade the runway and other small scale projects.
Scott Wardwell is the Executive Director of Northern Maine Regional Airport and says “Its great news, its actually for painting the striping on the runway as well as doing crack sealing…crack sealing helps maintain the life of the pavement and the painting helps the pilots know where to go.”
Wardwell says the funding coming to Northern Maine Regional will also offset some costs…saving about 25 thousand dollars that would have gone to the project if the grant did not come through.
Wardwell says the funding is indeed welcome news as it improves the overall maintenance of the airport and above all else ensures safety.”
Wardwell adds “The pavement markings really is a cue to pilots where to go, what to do becomes very critical in bad weather and also plays a role in keeping unauthorized vehicles off the active runway.”
Northern Maine Regional isn’t the only airport in the county to get receive funding.
The Caribou Municipal Airport is slated to get more than 40 thousand dollars to construct a new hangar.
Austin Bleess is the Caribou City Manager and states “This is pretty big, we’re gonna have a lot more space for airplanes to stay here, to hangar here in Caribou it should generate more revenue for the city.”
Both Wardwell and Bleess say this grant money is not only a nod from the federal government to move forward with these current projects. But they add it’s a invite to apply for additional funds to complete even more future plans.
Wardwell responds “We do have another application in and that’s for the rehabilitation of the GA ramp.”
Bleess says the construction of a new hangar will also spur job growth in that community. Wardwell says he too would like to see a new hangar erected at Northern Maine Regional Airport in the next few years.