A single-engine airplane takes off in 2019 from the main runway at the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal file photo 2019

AUBURN — Upgrades will continue at the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport after U.S. Sen. Susan Collins announced $1.6 million in federal funding this week.

The announcement was part of $11.4 million through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Airport Improvement Program that will go to five Maine airports.

According to Bettyann Sheats, chairwoman of the airport’s board of directors, a majority of the funds will be used to reconstruct the “east ramp” on the Hotel Road side of the facility.

The section houses hangers used by LifeFlight and others. Sheats said the runway and parking area in that section of the airport are “in desperate need of being resurfaced.”

The project has been included in both cities’ capital improvement plan for some time, but the funding will allow the airport to move forward with the work.

The improvements come on the heels of much larger upgrades to the main runway that began in 2019. That $8.5 million project overhauled both runways and added new navigation lighting. Sheats said the line-painting on the new runway was just completed.


Also coming up for the airport will be self-serve fuel trucks that will allow LifeFlight and other tenants to refuel during off-hours.

This week’s funding will also go toward acquiring land within the airport approach route.

Sheats said the land has already been acquired from the Auburn Business Development Corp. and the funding is a reimbursement. The land was considered in the “protection zone” around the airport’s main runway.

Collins, the ranking member of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, said, “Maine’s airports are vital pieces of our state’s infrastructure that play a critical role not only in transportation and job creation, but also to provide medical services for rural communities in emergencies when seconds count. This critical investment will allow airports across our state to make much-needed improvements to their infrastructure, enhancing the safety and efficiency of operations and benefitting residents and visitors.”

Federal dollars also went to airports in Portland, Augusta, Belfast and Wiscasset.

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