Portland Jetport

Portlander

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PWM will be awarded $4.8 million for improvements to the airport in an announcement yesterday. These funds will go towards the purchase of an extension pier and two new passenger bridges for Gates 12 and 14, two jetways will also be replaced with new ones due to age and a fourth baggage carousel will be added in the dead space just beyond the entrance to baggage claim. A Federal Inspection Station will be part of the next round of funding next year once the jetport administration offices are moved to the upper east end of the terminal (empty mechanical space) and TSA is relocated to the current jetport administration space. The two new jetways will increase the total at PWM to twelve along with two smaller RJ bridges located at Gate 1 A/ B.
 
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Portlander

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IMG_2876.jpeg

Early morning push back on a Delta A319 flight to Detroit.
 
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Portlander

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IMG_2878.jpeg

After many years of flying out of PWM, this flight was my first takeoff and landing (a week later) on the 6100' secondary runway due to Portland's main runway being refurbished. Surprisingly, both fully loaded flights only needed around 4800-5200 foot of pavement during departure and arrival! Aircraft technology has advanced so much over the past few decades that runway length is not as big of a deal as it used to be which is evidenced by the FedEx 757's having no issues utilizing runway 18-36. PWM being close to sea level (76') and having cooler ambient temperatures also helps with takeoff weight tolerances.
 
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Corey

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Just realized a few days ago that I hadn't heard an airplane here in the West End in a bit (although the noise from planes generally doesn't bother me compared the cars on the Casco Bay Bridge). That's an interesting point about the shorter runway not being an issue, Portlander.
 

Portlander

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Corey, the shorter runway is not an issue as far as it's length but the lack of ILS and LED lighting (lights will be upgraded with the main runway) can create a problem during fog/low visibility which may cause a few cancellations or diversions to BGR or MHT. You can have the noise back on June 13th, I live a short distance from the southern end of 18-36 and the early morning take offs are starting to wear on me : )
 
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gregrc75

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View attachment 24108
After many years of flying out of PWM, this flight was my first takeoff and landing (a week later) on the 6100' secondary runway due to Portland's main runway being refurbished. Surprisingly, both fully loaded flights only needed around 4800-5200 foot of pavement during departure and arrival! Aircraft technology has advanced so much over the past few decades that runway length is not as big of a deal as it used to be which is evidenced by the FedEx 757's having no issues utilizing runway 18-36. PWM being close to sea level (76') and having cooler ambient temperatures also helps with takeoff weight tolerances.
Take a look at what flies in and out of EYW‘s (Key West) airport‘s 4800‘ runway!
 

Portlander

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I've flown into Key West a few times prior to it's runway being extended to 5076' and it was concerning. SNA (John Wayne) is also one of the shortest commercial runways in the US at 5701' and pilots have to take off at or near full power in addition to a steep climb to adjust. A319's are the largest aircraft currently using EYW and 757's are the largest at SNA.
 
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NR2Portland

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PWM will be awarded $4.8 million for improvements to the airport in an announcement yesterday. These funds will go towards the purchase of an extension pier and two new passenger bridges for Gates 12 and 14, two jetways will also be replaced with new ones due to age and a fourth baggage carousel will be added in the dead space just beyond the entrance to baggage claim. A Federal Inspection Station will be part of the next round of funding next year once the jetport administration offices are moved to the upper east end of the terminal (empty mechanical space) and TSA is relocated to the current jetport administration space. The two new jetways will increase the total at PWM to twelve along with two smaller RJ bridges located at Gate 1 A/ B.
When will this money be put into action? I know the runway project is going on right now. Will the extension pier be a build expansion of the terminal or will these just be connections using a bridge?
The Jetports busiest months are here and they are already using overflow parking for passengers and also aircraft. Many having to use the de-ice apron while waiting for a gate to be freed up! Anyone have any clue if a terminal expansion is in the near future?
 

Portlander

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Great questions NR2. Funds have been approved but the money is not in PWM's hands just yet! The two new loading bridges (Gates 12 & 13) will still be connected to the west end of the terminal via a fixed extension pier and is expected to be completed early next year. The cost of expanding the physical portion of the concourse is too expensive at this time but is still a viable project dependent on future airline needs and enplanement numbers. Priorities at this time appear to be the current runway refurbishing, adding two jetways (12 & 13), replacing the two oldest jetways with new ones, relocate jetport admin offices to upper level of eastern part of terminal, relocate TSA admin spaces, add an FIS facility, renovate baggage claim which includes adding a 4th carousel, and build out the concourse in the Gates 1A/B and 2 area to accommodate more seating. PWM has decided to keep the gate numbering sequence in order by not eliminating #13 for superstitious reasons which is why there will not be a Gate 14 as previously mentioned. Preliminary passenger numbers and available seats are showing that PWM will have its all time busiest July and August.
Screen Shot 2022-04-13 at 4.40.08 PM.png
 
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NR2Portland

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Great questions NR2. Funds have been approved but the money is not in PWM's hands just yet! The two new loading bridges (Gates 12 & 13) will still be connected to the west end of the terminal via a fixed extension pier and is expected to be completed early next year. The cost of expanding the physical portion of the concourse is too expensive at this time but is still a viable project dependent on future airline needs and enplanement numbers. Priorities at this time appear to be the current runway refurbishing, adding two jetways (12 & 13), replacing the two oldest jetways with new ones, relocate jetport admin offices to upper level of eastern part of terminal, relocate TSA admin spaces, add an FIS facility, renovate baggage claim which includes adding a 4th carousel, and build out the concourse in the Gates 1A/B and 2 area to accommodate more seating. PWM has decided to keep the gate numbering sequence in order by not eliminating #13 for superstitious reasons which is why there will not be a Gate 14 as previously mentioned. Preliminary passenger numbers and available seats are showing that PWM will have its all time busiest July and August.
View attachment 24537
Thank you so much, I appreciate all the info. It sounds like the Jetport is heading in the right direction and will boom this summer with record passenger levels! The garage is already almost full! Also the talk of adding a future international route or airline is exciting!
 

Portlander

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Anytime. To expand on your question concerning the westerly extension of the concourse, the two additional jetways and connecting corridor are being designed (above drawing) to allow for the future construction of the actual building without disrupting ongoing aircraft operations. The long enclosed corridor would be removed and two connectors would be added from the terminal to the jetway foundation points. So this upcoming project is kind of a temporary fix until passenger and airline needs eventually advance plans to increase the square footage of the terminal's upper portion.
 
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TC_zoid

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For the increased summer traffic, perhaps Brunswick could be a spillover airport for Portland. It's too bad it's not being used now during the main runway improvements. There have been flight cancellations and some are directed to Hartford. Brunswick is 25 min away and Hartford, three hours. The runway at Brunswick is 8,000 feet long and does have an ILS, though probably needs to be updated along with newer landing lights. And I'm sure the TSA structure needs to be built and approved. But still, even after the main runway is ready, Brunswick should be considered for next summer and after. Portland will continue to grow. How can it not? It's a de facto suburb of Boston, and Boston is on its way--if not there already--to becoming the most important city in the world for tech and education.
 

PWMFlyer

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Brunswick will continue to be an executive airport. The control tower is not in operating condition(the Navy gutted the electronics). Plus the neighbors are glad to have less air traffic.
 

TC_zoid

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That seems crazy to not have a COMM system. I worked on a project at the East 34th Street Heliport in Manhattan and they had their communications within a suitcase. They could pick it up and go from building to building. I've seen them juggle 6 landing helicopters at a time. But then they don't do tracking like it's done with commercial fixed wing. It's all VFR for the pilots too.
 
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Portlander

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Using Brunswick as a commercial airport and even as a potential regional replacement to PWM was discussed back when the Naval Air Station was selected for closure. Never gained any traction back then and will not gain any traction in the future. In addition to PWMFlyer's comments, there are infrastructure issues and it's location is too far from southern Maine's population center. I think the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal would have a better chance of getting a daily commuter flight (EAS) in the future over Brunswick and it's odds are slim to none. TC, I agree that Bradley was a ridiculous diversion from Portland and I'm not sure why BGR was not used seeing that Delta serves the airport and it is an hour closer. Fortunately, there has not been many weather diverts during the runway refurbishing and it won't be an issue 23 days from now and PWM's primary will be like landing on a pillow!
 
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markhb

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I think the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport would have a better chance of getting a daily commuter flight (EAS) in the future than Brunswick and it's odds are slim to none.
Back when EAS was trimmed in the 80s, I recall George Will specifically calling out Auburn Lewiston on the grounds that, how was it essential if it was only 30 miles from PWM?
 

TC_zoid

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Brunswick BY FAR is the better choice. Bowdoin adjoins the airport and is growing in stature ($4 billion endowment, or 8 times that of UMO) and that brings out-of-state tech (locating near a top college) and other interests. And Brunswick Landing has many tech companies, some aviation related. Lewiston-Auburn is inland and nothing really happening there when compared to what Brunswick is and will become. Not to mention, but I will, a train station within walking distance connecting to Boston. New housing and transplants are locating to the area too. Sure, there is Bates in Lewiston, but Bowdoin is rated as the 4th best small college in the country. Bates is at no. 349.
 

BosMaineiac

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Brunswick BY FAR is the better choice. Bowdoin adjoins the airport and is growing in stature ($4 billion endowment, or 8 times that of UMO) and that brings out-of-state tech (locating near a top college) and other interests. And Brunswick Landing has many tech companies, some aviation related. Lewiston-Auburn is inland and nothing really happening there when compared to what Brunswick is and will become. Not to mention, but I will, a train station within walking distance connecting to Boston. New housing and transplants are locating to the area too. Sure, there is Bates in Lewiston, but Bowdoin is rated as the 4th best small college in the country. Bates is at no. 349.
I would think a better investment would be not to expand the Brunswick and L/A airports, but to increase public transit options from PWM to both cities.
 

TC_zoid

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I would think a better investment would be not to expand the Brunswick and L/A airports, but to increase public transit options from PWM to both cities.
I fly a lot for my work. Hardly anyone takes a bus or even a train when it comes to flying into Portland or any other Maine city. The only bus travel really seen is Concord Coach to and from Logan. It's all pickups, rentals, hotel vans, and car sharing with PWM. Brunswick is the smart choice to expand flights because of its prestigious stature (elite education, tech industries, and money).
 

BosMaineiac

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I fly a lot for my work. Hardly anyone takes a bus or even a train when it comes to flying into Portland or any other Maine city. The only bus travel really seen is Concord Coach to and from Logan. It's all pickups, rentals, hotel vans, and car sharing with PWM. Brunswick is the smart choice to expand flights because of its prestigious stature (elite education, tech industries, and money).
But what if there was an express bus (similar to Logan Express or Concord) operating directly from L/A, Brunswick to PWM? That might entice people and would be at a fraction of the cost of upgrades to either airport. I just think there are a lot of other ways to maximize the utility of PWM before searching for a reason to build a reliever airport. Also, Brunswick may be prestigious, but it's still a city of ~22,000, whereas Lewiston Auburn combined has a pop of almost 3X that
 

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