Liam Charland of Old Orchard Beach sits on the landing wheel of one of the many aircrafts featured on display at the Biddeford Municipal Airport's open house on Saturday. RYDER SCHUMACHER/Journal Tribune

Liam Charland of Old Orchard Beach sits on the landing wheel of one of the many aircrafts featured on display at the Biddeford Municipal Airport’s open house on Saturday. RYDER SCHUMACHER/Journal Tribune

BIDDEFORD — The sound of spinning propellers and roaring engines churned all day, accompanied with children’s happy faces, as the Friends of Biddeford Airport and the local Experimental Aircraft Association chapter hosted their annual open house on Saturday.

An estimated 1,000 people poured in to the airport grounds to witness dozens of small aircrafts and helicopters in action.

In addition to rides in two passenger aircrafts, event organizers showcased airplane models, led children in airplane-based arts and crafts, and served food, all of which went towards funding next years Franco-American La Kermesse Festival in Biddeford.

All other money raised during the day will fund Angel Flights, an organization of volunteer pilots offering their time for free air transportation to help those with any charitable- and medically-related needs.

Along with Angel Flights, the open house aimed to raise awareness of the Biddeford Airport’s existence.

“Not only are we trying to raise funds for Angel Fights today, but we’re hoping to build awareness so people know where this airport is,” said Friends of Biddeford Airport Chairman Jeremy Bernier. “There are still people coming in today that have never been to this airport, haven’t even heard of it, and they live right next door.”

Steve Welch, EAA Chapter 1210 president, said everyone in York County should known about the airport.

“This airport supports everywhere,” Welch said. “Old Orchard, Kennebunk, Saco, all surrounding communities.”

The morning started off cloudy, but as soon as the sun came out around noon the attendance at the open house boomed.

The airport has been putting on the open house since 2008, but the event only takes place once every two years.

Bernier said with the Biddeford mayor and City Council supportive of the airport’s operations, he looks forward to holding the event for many more years.

“It’s been a team effort to keep this airport,” Bernier said. “We’ve got the mayor supporting us, we’ve got the City Council that’s been working with us. It’s going to keep getting better and better, and these open houses make it better.”

 — Staff Writer Ryder Schumacher can be reached at 282-1535, or via email at [email protected] 


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