FAQs


When was the airport built?

The original runway was constructed in 1961 at a length of 2,800 feet. In 1968, the runway was lengthened to 3,400 feet. The runway pavement is constructed to strength of a 22,000 pound single-wheel load.

Back to top

Who owns/manages the airport?

The Town of Wiscasset is the owner/manager of the airport. In Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) terms, the town is the airport sponsor.

Back to top

Who are operators/leaseholders on the airport?

The airport’s sole fixed base operator (FBO) is operated by the Town of Wiscasset. The FBO provides fuel and parking services to aircraft. There are nine private hangars with individual leases with the town, plus two 12-unit tee-hangars under a condominium association. The unit owners are the lease holders with the town. Each hangar land lease is a long term agreement, which is vetted and reviewed by the Federal Aviation Administration to ensure they meet compliance requirements. The town also leases the second floor of the airport's administration building to a private business.

Back to top

Who uses the airport?

There are 593,499 licensed pilots in the United States, and 2,415 in Maine alone (Dec.31,2014 FAA Records). General aviation activity varies from recreational or business flyers to medial evacuation flights. Pilots use their aircraft as an alternative to driving to their destination. Charter aircraft bring visitors and business men and women to the Maine Mid-Coast area. Several area businesses keep aircraft at the Wiscasset Airport for their transportation needs. LifeFlight uses helicopters and fixed wing aircraft to transport patients. The airport is utilized by law enforcement agencies, Maine state agencies, powerline patrols, the National Guard, and the federal government.

Back to top

Where does the airport get money to operate?

The airport receives revenue in the form of payments from fuel sales, hangar land leases, tie-downs, hangar rentals and excise taxes paid on all based aircraft. Property taxes paid on hangars go into Wiscasset’s general fund, not into the airport fund. Actually the airport is paying money into the general operation of the town on top of paying its own way.

Back to top

How Are Airport Improvements Funded?

Federal funding is through the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, which is sustained by excise taxes on passengers, aviation fuels, and shippers who use the national air transportation system. The Trust Fund concept guarantees a stable funding source whereby users pay for the services they receive. State funds for airport projects come from Bond Issues, which are voted on every two years by residents of the State. Maine aviation fuel excise taxes go into the General Fund and not for airport projects. Local government where the airport is located also participates in the funding with a percentage of the cost.

Back to top

What types of projects are eligible for AIP funds?

The AIP assists the development of a nationwide system of public-use airports by providing funding for airport planning and development projects at airports included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS).

Eligible projects include: (1) Construction, improvement, and repair of all or a part of a public airport as well as removing, lowering, relocating, and marking of airport hazards. Work on buildings may be only for those buildings that are to house facilities or activities directly related to safety of persons at the airport. (2) The acquisition of land or any interest in land, or any easement or other interest in airspace. Eligible areas of land include those necessary for eligible construction, for installation or relocation of landing aids to serve or serving the airport, for approach protection, and to allow operation and maintenance of the airport as a public facility. (3) Pavement preservation projects, with the exception of routine maintenance (i.e. runways, taxiways, and aprons). (4) Eligible costs include engineering and administrative costs incurred specifically in connection with a project.

Back to top

What noise abatement procedures are in effect?

Upon departure from Runway 25 (toward the southwest), pilots are requested to fly straight out until reaching an altitude of 1,000 feet above mean sea level before turning on course. This point varies in distance from the airport due to differences in aircraft performance. This procedure helps to keep aircraft from flying directly over the Chewonki Campground and Chewonki Foundation located south of the airport.

Back to top

Explain the traffic pattern procedures.

Since the Wiscasset Airport does not have a control tower, pilots are required to use standard procedures when entering and departing the traffic pattern at "non-towered" airports. A traffic pattern is a large rectangle, with the runway as part of one of the long sides. Pilots enter the pattern on the long leg of the rectangle opposite the runway in use (landings and departures are done into the wind). They then fly around the rectangle until they are lined up for the runway to land. Pilots who are on training or proficiency flights may remain in the pattern, flying around the rectangle and performing repeated takeoffs and landings.

Back to top

How many based aircraft?

The State of Maine defines a based aircraft as one that remains in the State for more than 30 consecutive days. The number of based aircraft at Wiscasset Airport varies throughout the year. Some airplanes leave during the winter for hangar space at other airports, while some arrive and remain for extended periods during the summer. There are normally between 40 to 50 aircraft based at the airport.

Back to top

How many operations per year?

An operation consists of either a takeoff or a landing, this data is collected by G.A.R.D. – General Audio Recording Device. GARD monitors the airport’s Unicom frequency (122.8) and records and saves transmissions to a computer hard drive. A GARD software algorithm analyzes communications and plots operations in a spreadsheet format, which provides management with an accurate operations count by the event, hour, day, week. This operational data is used to calculate operational activity at the airport. During the period of April and October of 2014, the number of operations were accurately defined at about 10,000 annually.

Back to top

Who can I talk to concerning further questions regarding the airport?

You can reach the airport and the airport manager at 207-882-5475 or at airport@wiscasset.org.

Back to top