Small private pilot airplanes, they are becoming more common as individuals take to the friendly skies over Maine.
Here is a list of all the airports in Maine. The small community airport helps connect rural Maine with population centers. But most don’t attract large commercial airliners with first class and coach filled to the brim with sky commuters. Because too many empty seats on a daily schedule of flights that are not subsidized.
The small air strip in a Maine town has a lot of activity someone without their wings would not be aware of each day. Where I live especially on the US – Canadian border there is another element of air traffic with small personal planes that are the jet fuel and gas guzzling type.
Clearing customs, immigration inspections happen quick and easy at small local Maine airports without the usually roll down the window.
Approach the line with the stop sign. Put ‘er in park. To answer the question crossing the border about “anything to declare?” Not meaning to provide the chance to cleanse the soul and remove the guilt on whatever is troubling you. Keep that rolling around in your mind for another professional or higher power.
The border crossing officer needs to know “do you have any fire arms, tobacco, plants or pets on board” and another inquiry are you leaving anything behind in the country you are leaving? Did you purchase anything that might require duty while traveling across the boundary border crossing?
More questions with you providing the answers to the guy or gal with the badge, wearing the bullet proof vest. “What is your country of origin” is the daily double question to determine citizenship as you hand over your passport and laminated birth certificates or driver’s licenses. That spell out your nationality and identity.
The paperwork that gets checked to see if you are who you say you are. If you have naughty or nice lately that maybe Santa connects with once a year to help in his background assessment. The letters from ex-wives and ex-husbands too get passed back and forth. About does the minor child have the other half’s permission to cross into another country or not is addressed.
Small airports in Maine attract commercial airliners that bring in the big wigs, the high muckie mucks as some dub them as high powered executive passengers.
Who monitor the local lumber mills, farm operations, manufacturing plants or are in office who hope to be elected to one. Air travel in Maine is alive and well on all the scales.
Flying in to whatever is headquartered in this rural outpost that are small dots on the map. Way way up in this northeast, northwest thumb of the USA. Touching down on small airstrips around the interior of Maine. Not just the handful of city airports that most are familiar with and use.
When Loring Air Force Base was active in Limerstone, B-52’s flying below radar and hovering the hills tightly could scare the heck out of the local population of people and wildlife, farm animals alike. When the skies are filled with twinkling stars not blinking aircraft navigational lights now, moving around the air space is much easier for private plane owner Sky King and Penny. Who are looking over the list of Maine airports to utilize.
Local medical life flight aircraft use the small community airport too. Angel flights that help small town Mainer families that are between the rock and a hard place.
They need a place to land, pick up the precious cargo and lift off quickly because time is ticking. For a vital organ replacement or someone elected for a bed of life when their time is up. Sometimes it is a fixed
wing plane and not a helicopter that needs a stretch of runway to land and take off. Border patrol, DEA, others use my local airport on a daily basis. The state of Maine’s forestry aircraft criss-crosses the state that is 91 percent wooded.
Chasing down suspects happens in Maine, not just in the movies. And smokey bear in the sky gets thirsty for the aviation grade 100 octane fuel too as they monitor the highways from above as the eye in the sky. Timing the lead foot speeding motorist’s time as they advance too fast from this white line to the next measured with a simple stop watch. To determine “one atom twelve, we have a speeder. See the speeder down below in the yellow Yugo weaving from lane to lane on I-95 mile marker 286” (mic click).
Local chainsaws and higher performance snow sleds, race cars and even weed wackers enjoy the high test aviation fuel that the small local airfield offers as a local perk. At whatever airport in Maine you pick from the list or happen to live close to to enjoy the perks. Many snow birds use the local airports to get to their vacation homes. Some with pontoon and wheel combinations to make landing much more than just at the small list of Maine airports to consider. When touching down on a local runway that can vary depending on the day of sight seeing up above and down below.
Since deregulation of the airline industry, less subsidies are available to provide the helping hand to the community air fields. That threaten their existence and upkeep to keep them usable.
Paving runways if they have tar. Lighting, communications. Providing the fuel, weather and flight navigation assistance. Maybe offering a hot cup of coffee, some fix based operator conversation. Re-fueling body and plane and grabbing a handful of tourist information flyers. Before zipping up the leather bomber jacket with the sheep skin collar up high on the neck. As the aviators trot back out to the airplane or helicopter with a flight plan in place. Climbing in whatever whirly bird big blade or silver winged contraption brought you down on the local Maine air field. Maybe an ultralight was the bird of choice that does not need much runway to up up and away.
National defense can help some strategically located Maine airports.
Homeland security funds have been a blessing to my local KHUL Maine airport. That has a rich history like many airfields with assistance during past conflicts with other nations. Housing German prisoners of war that helped the local farmers and
foresters in their lumbering operations. Many of the old POW and army barracks used for soldiers and the prisoner captives from another land have been retooled for other peace time uses at their local base. Or sold off, hauled away to make creative housing in the small growing Maine communities. That re-worked the former barracks, parachute shed, kitchen mess galley, motor pool facility or whatever the structure into a clever housing transformation use.
Lend lease where local Maine potato and grain farmers used their tractors to haul aircraft by towing them across the border. To lend a hand before countries that were spiraling like cats finally dropped the shoe. And declared war on the other in the line of of force to preserve freedom of whoever was being held captive and against their will.
Maine’s many lakes and ponds get visits from aircraft wearing pontoons. They need fuel at marinas. The locals worry about a slip of vegetation that carries the dreaded milfoil vegatative infestation being deposited in their pristine, disease free waterfront jewel though.
The small Maine airports not manned around the clock like the ones with commercial airline schedules to maintain has a help yourself approach. Key the mic, watch the blue landing strip runway lights TA DA… come up like magic. As the private pilot hones in on the VOR radio signal to tractor beam the plane safely, slowly down out of the clouds. To safely land and then taxi over to the fuel pumps. As the pilot regroups and prepares for the next leg of the airline flight. Have seen my local airport in Maine used for cat delivery using a small commercial jet. Lots happens behind the scenes at your local airport when a community or region of Maine is lucky enough to have one.
Watch a video of a local fly in at Houlton International Airport held recently.
Horse drawn wagon rides, antique tractor towing the kiddies. Local vendor food too because aren’t you and I always hungry when sometime creates the smell of cooking onions? Dubbed Wings and Wheels, antique cars along with private personal aircraft all stopped into be part of the local celebration. That does a lot to share with the land lubber what exactly does go on out at the small Maine airport if a community is lucky enough to have one for economic development!
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