September 20, 2018

Rangeley airport to get $11.5M for runway extension

Rangeley will receive $11.5 million from the Federal Aviation Administration to extend the runway and make other improvements at the town's Stephen A. Bean Municipal Airport.

The grant from the FAA's Airport Improvement Program, announced in a news release Wednesday from U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, comes after the airport was awarded nearly $400,000 in program funding this summer.

The new grant is by far the largest improvement award made this year to a Maine airport. Program funds are distributed in periodic tranches, and 2018 awards in the state had previously totaled about $25 million.

In addition, Brunswick Executive Airport recently received a $6.2 million grant from the FAA Military Airports Program, which will pay for hangar and infrastructure upgrades.

The FAA says the recent Airport Improvement Program tranche, the fifth so far this year, totals $586 million nationally. The agency plans to distribute $3.18 billion in airport improvement funds for 2018.

The program, funded through passenger taxes, pays for one-third of capital development at most airports, according to the federal Government Accountability Office.

Stephen A. Bean Municipal Airport, formerly known as Rangeley Airport, was constructed in 1934 and serves Franklin County. The airport enables critical medical transportation, since the nearest hospital is a 50-minute drive away.

"As the number of outdoor recreationalists traveling to Franklin County increases, this investment to expand the airport's runway will allow Rangeley to improve access to vital medical services while also providing long-term benefits for the local economy," Collins said in the release.


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