The Biddeford Municipal Airport in Maine currently has a number of assets that are sitting idle due to the lack of a funded maintenance program, and unless the city council takes action, these assets could continue to waste money and space, the York County Journal Tribune reports.
The latest proposal for a new maintenance program came on Tuesday, however this $200,000 plan was struck down by city council members, despite the plan's ultimate goal of meeting regulations set by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Earlier in September, the city also failed to approve Stantec Consulting Services to write grants that would help the city perform the recommended safety improvements at the airport.
If the grants are approved, the Federal Aviation Administration would pay 95 percent of the maintenance costs, however the city still must give the grant writing program the go-ahead, the media outlet stated.
The safety problems at the airport were first identified seven years ago when the city created a master plan for the facility with the help of the FAA, however little to no work has been done, despite calls from the public and certain government officials to implement the strategies. The master plan showed that the airport runway must be resurfaced, new safety overruns must be installed at the ends of runways, the lighting fixtures need improvements, fencing needs to be constructed and trees need to be trimmed to allow planes to take off safely.
If the city does not address these problems, the news provider stated, the FAA could potentially shut the entire airport down. City Manager John Bubier recently stated that the city must take action to develop a maintenance program, and Airport Manager Tom Bryand has also called for a workshop to "figure out a plan" for the future of the facility.
If the city does decide to spend the money to develop an airport maintenance program, it will need to review all standards and regulations established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which were created to ensure worker safety.
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