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Brunswick Executive Airport Fly-In Celebrates Historic Facility's Return to Civilian Use

May 26, 2011

Barely three months after its conversion in early April to a general aviation facility, the former Brunswick Naval Air Station (NHX) – now Brunswick Executive Airport (BXM) – plans to celebrate its return to civilian status by hosting the 1st Annual Brunswick International Fly-In.

Scheduled for June 4, the event will include a variety of displays, as well as an open house, pancake breakfast and Town Meeting hosted by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, according to Steve Levesque, executive director of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority (MRRA), which owns and operates BXM.

In addition, the Federal Aviation Administration will conduct safety seminars and the Experimental Aviation Association will host a number of classes.

It's all part of MRRA's push to raise awareness about what is Maine's newest addition to the state's community airport network. "The Fly-In accomplishes a couple of things," Levesque said. "We're promoting the airport and we're using it as a springboard to showcase Maine as a fly-in destination."

To that end, MRRA has invited airports across Maine to exhibit at the event. As of mid-May, nine airports had committed, Levesque said. The fly-in also will kick off the "Maine Airports Trail," which Levesque described as a kind of "lobster run" to BXM and eight other airports in the state.

"People can fly to the participating airports and get stickers," Levesque said. "If they get five stickers and come back here, we'll give them a couple of fresh Maine lobsters to take home."

A number of companies and organizations – including the Maine Department of Transportation – are sponsoring the fly-in, which Levesque said could expand into a multiple-day event. "We want to build this and make it into a companion to Sun-N-Fun and [EAA AirVenture] Oshkosh," Levesque said.

Overall, Levesque said the fly-in is part of a comprehensive marketing initiative that will include another new event: The Great State of Maine Airshow and Business Aviation Expo, which will run August 26 to 28 and feature the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and U.S. Army Golden Knights, among an impressive slate of performers.

The return of civilian air traffic to BXM is generating plenty of excitement throughout the state among general aviation and pilot communities. The airport offers an impressive array of on-site services and facilities, which Levesque said would cost an estimated $2 billion to replace from scratch.

There are two parallel 8,000-by-200-foot runways, 650,000 square feet of hangar space and office buildings, and roughly 100 acres of parking ramps. Only one runway currently is open.

BXM's control tower will remain unstaffed until the number of annual aircraft movements reaches criteria set by the FAA. In addition, instrument approach procedures, PAPI and approach lighting, and the rotating beacon are soon to come online. Pilot-operated runway lighting is available via Unicom.

Most FBO services and amenities are operating, including refueling, hangar storage, outside tie-down, flight planning, lounges, catering, conference room and rental cars.

For More Information

Contact NBAA’s Northeast Regional Representative Dean Saucier at dsaucier@nbaa.org.

Photo caption: Members of the Maine delegation who attended the airport opening earlier this year included Senators Olympia Snowe (R) and Susan Collins (R), as well as Representatives Mike Michaud (D-2nd) and Chellie Pingree (D-1st).