Maine has 108 small towns.
And all are anxious to prosper, to at least keep their current population or better yet grow. Maine towns compete for business. Having a local airport like the one in Houlton Maine located right on the US – Canadian border is one attractive asset to hold in your marketing cards. Transportation is everything when a town has a rural location which most do in a state as large, expansive and sparsely populated like Maine.
The new Houlton International Airport Supervisor, Ben Torres was the speaker at the weekly Rotary Club meeting recently when it was my week to line up one.
The Houlton Maine service group learned much about the workings at the airport today. The club members contributed about the history of the facility too during the end question and answer period. Torres who has a background in airport management from his education at Bridgewater State in Massachusetts is excited about his new job.
Updating neglected, national airport websites that pilots use when selecting a place to set planes down is one task Torres is busy updating. And due to jet fuel offered at fifty cents cheaper per gallon, the quick clearing of customs, immigration that Houlton International Airport offers with its close proximity border station, the local landing field is a big attraction. But not if it kept a secret. Local chain saw operators also buy high trade 100 octane aviation fuel as well as some local snow sledders or hot rod enthusiasts. Torres says the income from fuel sales all adds up.
Income from hangar rental and daily or up to yearly storage fees all help support the local Maine airport.
Increasing the income from larger fuel sales, rental income of the space formerly used by the local FAA flight weather station are all in the works.
As the airport is cleaned up, polished and an inventory of income generating revenues are one by one explored. Torres is excited, passionate about making the local facility thrive, to shine. To become a well known habit as a regular Maine airport stop for private pilots. He says one five thousand foot runway repaved in 2008 could handle up to a sixty thousand pound turbo prop plane. One holding seventy to eighty passengers.
The reputation of Terry Beals who is a certified avionics and plane power plant mechanic is well known too. His presence at the airport is a draw for owners as far as Florida, up to thirteen hours away who fly north to have him work on their planes. There are 19 FBO’s (fixed based operators) in the state. Houlton International Airport’s vacant buildings in addition to the hangar built during World War Two would make excellent incubator space for new businesses to locate and create new jobs.
Torres is promoting the July 27th Cruise In, Fly In at Houlton International Airport. Displays for local attractions, Chamber of Commerce things to do brochures are also being built.
So pilots and passengers stopping at the flight center can learn more about where they are refueling. Or hanging around waiting for executives that fly in for Louisiana Pacific, Smith and Wesson, and local banks. That all appreciate the ability to fly directly into Houlton Maine, Southern Aroostook with private jets, airplanes, helicopters.
Learn more about the Wings & Wheels Fly-In/Cruise-In – Houlton International Airport.
This first annual Wings & Wheels Fly-In/Cruise-In at the Houlton International Airport is generating a lot of buzz here in “The County.” Planes, antique and hot rod cars, vendors, food, music by Mellow Endeavor, kids games, static aircraft displays and a special apearance by Smokey the Bear.
19 Industrial Drive
Houlton, Maine 04730
Phone: (207) 532-4216
Maine, we work hard to make our small towns grow, prosper, and to shine uniquely. We all have a job, role in a small town. Are the small Maine town where it is always home made creative, not store bought expensive.