Outside Brunswick Executive Airport’s air operations building, as seen in 2014. (John Swinconeck / Times Record file photo)

BRUNSWICK

Brunswick Executive Airport will receive $6.2 million from the Federal Aviation Administration to build a new hangar, install fencing and make other improvements to the airport.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, the chairwoman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, announced the funding through the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program, which sets aside funding for the Military Airport Program, on Monday.

“Brunswick Executive Airport is home to multiple aviation and aerospace companies and has been a major catalyst for the redevelopment of Brunswick Naval Air Station,” said Sen. Collins. “In addition to improving safety and making important infrastructure upgrades, this investment will help the airport continue to attract businesses and good-paying jobs to the region.”

The funding will be awarded as follows:

 $3,636,800 for the construction of a new hangar to accommodate general aviation aircraft;

 $1,029,445 to install perimeter fencing;

 $330,255 to repair utilities, and

 $1,219,320 to improve airport drainage

Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Steve Levesque said the funding is part of the FAA’s 10-year plan to bring the airport up to civilian standards after the closure of the base.

“This is all part of our plan,” said Levesque.

Military Airport Program funding is awarded to civil sponsors of military airfields for the development of aviation facilities for the public. This program also assists new sponsors in converting former military airfields to public use to add system capacity and reduce congestion at existing airports experiencing significant delays. In addition, the program provides financial assistance to the civilian sponsors who are converting, or have already converted, military airfields to civilian or joint military/civilian use. Levesque noted that they are currently in year seven of their 10-year plan to convert the airport to civilian standards.

The new hangar will be used to house smaller aircraft, which will help with heating costs in the winter.

“Right now, all the small, privately owned aircraft are kept in one of the big hangars, and the problem is that’s great in the summer, but in the winter time when you open those big doors to get a little airplane out you lose all the heat in the building,” said Levesque.

Levesque said work on the various projects will begin this fall and continue into the spring.

Since its inception, the redevelopment authority has actively wooed the aviation sector — touting the base’s large hangars that once housed submarine hunting aircraft, two air traffic control towers and two 8,000-foot runways.

Last year, Levesque wrote in a Times Record op-ed that 31 resident aircraft owners were collectively paying $3,000 annually in excise taxes. At the time, Levesque had projected 18,000 air operations by year-end and a 10 percent annual growth in airport usage and fuel sales.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: