Dexter Officials in Maine Lay out Goals to Enhance Airport

Town officials are reviewing the goals and objectives of the airport to move forward with improvements.

With an eye toward the future, both the Town Council and the Airport Advisory Committee hope to promote the regional airport for sport aviation.

Maintaining the airport's grass runway for aircraft such as ultralights was among the goals and objectives identified this week during a joint meeting of the council and committee.

Town officials are reviewing the goals and objectives of the airport to move forward with improvements, according to Town Manager Judy Doore.

"Our niche should be to enhance the airport to encourage sport aviation," Doore said Thursday.

The Federal Aviation Administration has earmarked $150,000 in its 2006 improvement plan for Dexter to revisit its airport layout plan, according to Doore. The town would need to apply for the funds as a formality, she said. Of that amount, FAA would contribute 95 percent, with a 2.5 percent match each by the state and town.

Doore said the town's application for the funds would be submitted by Santec of Portland, the town's design consultant. The payment for that work would be included in the $150,000 earmarked for the project, she said.

Among the goals identified this week for the airport include correcting the line of sight problem; extending the other runway at the airport 500 feet north to get it away from the Airport Road to correct an over-run; replacing the beacon; installing self-service aviation fuel; and relocating the small terminal building.

The town has budgeted $3,750 in 2007 as the local match for the layout plan, according to Doore. The plan is to include funds in 2008 to match anticipated federal and state funds for the preliminary design of Runway 16-34. In 2009, Doore said, the town will likely include the local match needed to prepare the final design and in 2010, the funds to address the line of site issue and repaving.

Doore said there is a concern that the FAA may increase the local match needed for airport projects, a move that would make it very difficult for smaller communities like Dexter to make airport improvements. She said town officials are going to encourage federal representatives not to increase the local percentage.

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