Lebanon airport loses federal funding for improvements
The building project funding was pulled after City Council members decided last spring to take no action on a runway extension project the FAA wanted the city to undertake.
The FAA was expected to fund 90 percent of the cost and the New Hampshire Department of Transportation was expected to fund 5 percent. The airport itself would fund the remaining 5 percent.
“A hill would have to be lowered by 30 or 40 feet,” Dyment said, and “About 40 acres of trees would have been cleared.”
The airport was created by the city in 1941 when voters at the town meeting approved the purchase of 624 acres on Slack Hill and then completed an agreement with the federal government to use the land as an airport.
The proposed runway extension project brought out community opposition that questioned the need to fund a project that would impact the community. Some residents of the city don’t see the need for the municipal airport and are concerned about continuing to invest federal, state and city taxpayer dollars into the facility.
“By focusing only on one runway, it became a narrow focus and a lighting-rod for people who had concerns about their neighborhoods or the use of city money,” Lewis said.
Lebanon Municipal Airport is one of two airports in the state, the other being Manchester, that offers airline service.
The airport is also used by private pilots and corporate jets.
In November and December, the city council will discuss adding the master plan project to the Capital Improvement Plan budget, Lewis said.
“We are working with the FAA on an ongoing basis and they are funding projects that we are doing right now at the airport,” he said.
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