Knox County airport opens new maintenance building
OWLS HEAD – There was an open house on Wednesday, April 18, at the Knox County Regional Airport to officially open the county’s new maintenance building that will provide offices for staff and to house the airport’s snow removal equipment.
The building significantly enlarged and renovated the building. The project took several years to complete.
“We began in 2014 and the site work and construction was completed in 2017,” said Jeffery Northgraves, the airport’s manager. “Some interior renovations have only recently been finished. The old building was just over 6,000 square feet and the renovation added another 5,000 square feet.”
This project was funded by an FAA Airport Improvement Program grant. The FAA paid for 90 percent of the project and the state and the county split the remaining 10 percent local share. The total project cost was $1.1 million. It required demolition of the old World War II garage-type building that housed the maintenance office, shop and storage; which required preservation steps/costs/time to meet requirements of the Maine State Historical Preservation Office.
Northgraves said that before the building’s completion, much of the equipment was kept outside.
“The big piece of equipment we’re looking at has the primary job is to blow the snow,” said Northgraves. “It’s just like a snow blower you might have at your house except it’s huge. It’s one of our workhorses and it tows a large broom and we usually don’t use both at the same time, but it sweeps the snow.”
The airport has a 5,000 foot runway and a 4,000 foot runway.
“This equipment can clear both runways in less than an hour,” said Northgraves. “That’s using three drivers. One in the big piece of equipment and two in the big snow plows we have stored in the building.”
The building also houses the grounds lawn care equipment and can facilitate repairs and upkeep on all the equipment.