Airplanes are lined up on the runway May 16 at Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport in Auburn. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal file

AUBURN — The financial and management challenges at the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport continued this week when another staffing crunch led airport officials to issue a notification that no fuel would be available from last Sunday afternoon through Tuesday morning.

A screenshot of the Notice to Air Missions issued by the Auburn-Lewiston Airport on Sunday. Submitted photo

The Notice to Air Missions, or NOTAM, is a notice containing information that is essential to those involved in flight operations, but not known far enough in advance to be publicized by other means.

It is required by the Federal Aviation Administration and alerts the public to an abnormal status of a component of the National Airspace System.

Memorial Day weekend is the traditional kickoff to the summer season, which is also the busiest time of the year for the airport. Fuel sales represent the second biggest source of revenue, after real estate rentals.

Jonathan LaBonte, chairman of the airport’s board of directors, said on-call services were available for those calling in to request them during the NOTAM period, but on-call services are subject to an additional fee.

According to information gathered by the Sun Journal, but not confirmed by the airport because it involves a personnel matter, an employee who normally handles fuel sales and other duties performed by the fixed-base operator quit, leaving nobody to perform refueling.


The airport is now the fixed-base operator, which provides aviation services, such as fuel, parking and hangar space, to the aviation community. LaBonte said the airport is “underperforming” and has a deficit of about $80,000.

The airport, which decided to retain its fixed-base operator status, but contract out all functions for that service, put out a request for proposals to provide fixed-base operator services, but canceled it without explanation. Airport officials issued a second request for proposals May 19, which has a deadline for submissions of 2 p.m. Friday.

Among the list of required services, applicants for the contract must be available seven days a week and be able to provide qualified personnel and equipment to perform aviation fueling, lubrication products and services and collect hangar rental and landing fees. The fixed-base operator also needs to provide engine preheating, battery charging and servicing, aircraft lavatory service and deicing.

According to the request for proposals, reviews and evaluations of proposals and requests for applicant interviews or negotiation are scheduled for next week, with board action on an agreement scheduled for the week beginning June 11.

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