RANGELEY — Voters are expected to decide Tuesday whether they want to extend the runway at the town airport by 1,100 feet to accommodate LifeFlight of Maine’s medical airplane.

Voting hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town Office.

LifeFlight, through the Federal Aviation Administration, is proposing the extension to allow its King Air B200 plane, which is essentially equipped as a flying emergency hospital, to land and depart safely.

LifeFlight is also working with the Maine Department of Transportation and other agencies.

DuBois & King, Inc., which has offices in Vermont and New Hampshire, is a consulting firm that provides a variety of services including engineering.

It has developed a preliminary proposal for the town to extend the runway at Stephen A. Bean Municipal Airfield.


The current runway  — at 3,201 feet — is too short for the LifeFlight plane, meaning certain patients, including some in critical condition, must be driven for care, according to a runway-extension fact sheet and meeting minutes posted on the the town website — townofrangeley.com. (To access information, click on the government tab and then go to Stephen A. Bean Municipal Airport, under the department section. The runway section is listed on the left side of the page.)

LifeFlight’s medical helicopters cannot land at Rangeley airport in weather conditions that include ice, snow or low clouds, among other weather issues.

Rangeley is 1,835 feet above sea level, which also affects aircraft performance. 

The runway-extension project is estimated to cost $10 million. Funding for the project would include 90 percent from the FAA, 5 percent from the Maine Department of Transportation and 5 percent, or $500,000, from the town. Other resources have been developed to help with the town’s share. 

If the project moves forward, a grant application to FAA would be submitted by May 1.

Several options have been developed for the runway extension, but most were dismissed for a variety of reasons, including cost. The options include not extending the runway or a preferred alternative that would extend the runway at each end, according to Guy Rouelle, senior aviation project manager at DuBois & King.


Of the proposed 1,100-foot extension, 690 feet would be added at the north end of the airport and 410 feet would be added at the south end, he said.

Loon Lake Road would be shifted to go around the end of the runway on town property, according to Rouelle. A permanent, steel snow fence would also be installed to prevent snow from drifting to other properties.

Several public meetings have been held on the project for townspeople to gain information and have questions answered. According to the fact sheet, the project would not require taking any privately owned land, and the airport’s size would not allow for larger aircraft to use the airport.

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Preferred Alternative Figure 8B0 Rangeley by sunjournal on Scribd

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