Brunswick Executive Airport’s new 15,000-square-foot hangar is expected to be ready for planes Oct. 1. Photo courtesy of Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority

BRUNSWICK — In the eight years since the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority took over the former Brunswick Naval Air Station, activity at Brunswick Executive Airport has continued to grow and most days the skies are peppered with planes.

The airport is predicting 26,000 takeoffs and landings for 2019, according to Executive Director Steve Levesque, a 20 percent increase over 2018. Last year saw a 13 percent increase.

Aeronautic and drone-based businesses are continuing to move in and expand, he said, with over a dozen in place, and next month a new 15,000-square-foot general aviation hangar, called Hangar 7, will be ready for planes.

Hangar space can be hard to lease, Levesque said last year, in part because of Maine’s harsh climate, which makes it difficult to heat large open spaces. During a cold snap, it can cost up to $20,000 per month to heat a single hangar, split among the tenants, he said at the time. Electric costs also are higher in the Northeast than other parts of the country and runways need to be cleared of snow.

Despite this, all the space in Hangar 7 is already spoken for by FlightLevel Aviation, the airport’s fixed-base operator, which is leasing space in the much larger Hangar 6.

The $3.5 million hangar was funded by a $6.2 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to help draw more businesses to the airport. The new, smaller Hangar 7 will help FlightLevel Aviation and other businesses operating out of the airport save on heat, Levesque said, as opening the big hangar doors for every little plane that comes in and out can get expensive. FlightLevel Aviation will move in Oct. 1.


“It’s a pretty hangar,” Levesque said, and opens up opportunities for larger companies with larger aircraft to use space in Hangar 6, which is large enough to hold six Boeing 737s.

The airport is also in the midst of a 10-year, $40 million investment program with the FAA, for safety upgrades and improvements, like insulating the hangar doors, installing radiant heating, bringing the restrooms up to code, switching to energy-efficient lighting and other “significant spruce-ups.”

A new business may soon take up residence in one of the two empty air traffic control towers, but Levesque could not discuss specifics. He said last year that he was trying to market the tower as ideal for a “special project company” dealing in technology or cybersecurity.

Next August the redevelopment authority plans to open an aviation technician school to assist the growing business in Brunswick, something Levesque had hoped to open this past summer. The landing is currently completing a feasibility study to see where the students may come from and how best to recruit them, he said.

There are more than 45 aircraft based at the airport, 10 more than this time last year. Another set of smaller T-hangars will soon be up and running and Levesque continues to receive inquiries from people wanting to build their own hangars.
“It’s a busy little place,” he said.

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