Maine airport faces closure vote

January 10, 2008

Maine airport faces closure vote

By AOPA ePublishing staff

AOPA is warning the city of Biddeford, Maine, that it could face serious consequences if a proposed airport closure referendum on the November ballot succeeds.

In a Jan. 8 letter to the mayor, AOPA points out the economic value of Biddeford Municipal Airport to the community and the airport’s important place in both the national and state transportation systems. The letter also reminds the city that it has received state and FAA funding totaling more than $1.3 million. That money comes with a range of grant obligations that include keeping the airport open for at least 20 years.

AOPA is urging the city to work with the state department of transportation and the FAA to review the ramifications of closing the airport and to hold public meetings to identify community concerns and educate the public about the airport and the realities of the closure process.

A petition to put the closure referendum before the citizens of Biddeford is now in the hands of the city council, which will have to decide when the measure will come to a vote. No timetable for that decision has been set. Under Biddeford’s charter, the city could schedule a special election or put the measure on the November general election ballot.

In the meantime, AOPA is working with local pilots, including AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Alan Lyscars, to oppose plans to close the airport.

January 10, 2008