The Northern Maine Regional Airport in Presque Isle is planning to use a multi-million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to replace a large section of taxiway.
The airport is receiving $4,698,682 through the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, an agency within the Department of Transportation, for the reconstruction of about 3,950 feet of the existing taxiway pavement.
The grant will replace the taxiways drainage systems, repave the surface and replace edge lighting and signs, Scott Wardwell, the airport’s executive director, said.
“The last time it was paved was in the 1980s, and the drainage and other infrastructure dates back to World War II,” Wardwell said, referring to the airport’s time as an Army airfield.
“The taxiway is safe,” he added. “But in the case of airports, you don’t want to wait until things get so bad you have to discontinue use of an area.”
With two runways, the Northern Maine Regional Airport serves commercial and private air traffic, with daily passenger service provided to and from Logan Airport in Boston via PenAir.
Wardwell said that construction will start once the airport and the FAA sign off on the grant.
The agency also awarded a grant to the Brunswick Executive Airport. The airport at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station will receive $2,452,500 to rehabilitate one of its hangers to meet requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act.
In a joint statement, Maine U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King said the federal funding will be an overall benefit.
“Maine’s airports are vital pieces of our state’s transportation system that bolster our economy and connect our communities,” Collins and King said. “This funding will strengthen our transportation infrastructure and help ensure these airports can continue to support the regions they serve.”