The Hippo


May 28, 2020








NH’s biggest airport

Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, the state’s largest airport, features a variety of kinds of air traffic:
Manchester-Boston Regional (1 Airport Road, Manchester, 624-6539,  is the third-largest cargo airport in New England, transporting around 170 million pounds of cargo per day. A 96,000 square foot complex operated by Signature Flight provides fueling and maintenance services for both commercial airlines and corporate and private general aviation aircraft. The 1,200-acre site is owned and operated by the City’s Department of Aviation. The airport has more than 11,000 parking spaces and the terminal is about 308,000 square feet and features 14 jet gates, eight rental car company stations, 17 food and news concessions and an airport business center. There are two runways that are 9,250 and 7,650 feet long, as well as a 24-hour FAA air traffic control tower.
Small airports
Here are a few of the smaller airports in our area and what they offer.

Concord: (71 Airport Road, Concord, 229-1760, A municipal 614-acre general aviation facility east of the city’s center. It features two runways; one is 6,005 feet and the other is 3,200 feet. It’s operated by Concord Aviation Services and is host to a New Hampshire Army National Guard hangar and the New Hampshire State Police. It offers parking and hangar space, aircraft rental, flight training, maintenance and refueling services.
Laconia: (65 Aviation Drive, Gilford, 524-5003, There are two fixed base operators (FBOs) at this publicly-owned airport which offer services including refueling, maintenance, flight training, scenic flights, hangar storage and tie-down parking.  
Rochester: (238 Rochester Hill Road, Rochester, 332-0005, The Skyhaven Airport is owned and operated by the Pease Development Authority, a state agency. The public aviation airport offers a 4,001-foot runway, refueling services, tie-down parking, hangar storage and is home to a certified flight school.
Alton Bay: (14 Mount Major Highway, Alton Bay, 875-3498, find them on Facebook) This seaplane base and ice runway is a state owned general aviation airport located two miles north of Alton in the Lakes Region. During the winter, the plowed ice runway is 100 feet wide and 2,600 feet long. During the summer, it becomes a seaplane base. 
Hampton: (9A Lafayette Road, North Hampton, 964-6749, In addition to hangar rental, refueling and maintenance services and flight training, the Hampton Airfield also provides flights for photographers who want to take scenic photography from the air and aerial advertising services. It’s also home to a cafe.  
Deering: (3 miles south of Hillsborough off 2nd NH Turnpike, 588-6868, The Hawthorne-Feather Airpark in Deering is a privately-owned airport available for public use. It is owned by Rymes Oil and has one runway that is 3,260 feet long.
Moultonborough: (22 Airport Road, Moultonborough, 986-7338, The Moultonborough Airport is located in the Lakes Region. The privately-owned facility offers tie-down parking spaces and scenic flights. It has a 3,475-feet-long runway.
Nashua: (93 Perimeter Road, Nashua, 882-0661, Nashua Airport, otherwise known as Boire Field, is a general aviation airport that includes flight training, private flights and military flights. Because it has a control tower on site, it can manage multiple instrument flight rules approaches. It’s runway is 6,000 feet long and it is home to several flight schools and offers electric tie-down ramps, hangar space, maintenance and a cafe.  
The state’s other airports, large and small, are in these towns and cities:
Portsmouth, Berlin, Claremont, Jaffrey, Keene, Lebanon, Plymouth, Whitefield, Bristol, Colebrook, Errol, Franconia, Gorham, Newport, Haverhill
Source: Dave Rolla, airport websites

Small airports
Hidden gateways to the clouds

By Ryan Lessard

Many towns and cities in New Hampshire have airports that you probably didn’t know existed. Primarily, they offer a travel destination to recreational flyers and business commuters, a place to keep their planes, repair and refuel.

While Dave Rolla, the airport manager at Concord Municipal Airport, can’t speak for every airport in the state, he says it’s likely that many of those small fields also offer flight training services.
“It’s certainly pretty common that where there are airplanes there are people who are willing to teach people how to fly,” Rolla said.
General aviation
These so-called general aviation airports are more common in New Hampshire than most realize. There are 25 airports in the state, 15 public and 10 private.
“The biggest thing to understand is, geographically speaking, it’s amazing that New Hampshire has that many airports that can accommodate aircraft,” Rolla said.
Only three of them (Manchester, Portsmouth and Lebanon) are classified “Part 139” airports, meaning they offer air carrier or passenger service. 
Manchester and Lebanon are also bigger, with 10,000-foot runways. 
That classification means they have TSA security and baggage security. Rolla said that after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, federal security rules for airports effectively made it impossible for smaller airports to grow to the level of a Part 139 because of the prohibitive costs associated with the security requirements.
So the remaining airports, like the ones in Concord, Nashua, Laconia, Keene and Jaffrey, rely heavily on recreational and business flights.
Plane types
Rolla said his company, Concord Aviation Services, is the main operator of the airport, which is owned by the city, and one of five organizations that lease space there. There’s also the New Hampshire Army National Guard, New Hampshire State Police and two private hangar operators. 
The Guard makes up most of the money paid to the city for its use of the airport, from hangar leases, fuel and outside parking. But of the estimated 10,000 customers Concord Aviation Services deals with regularly, Rolla said the vast majority are recreational vehicles.
“By sheer number of operations, I would say the bulk of New Hampshire airports are being visited by recreational pilots in small airplanes,” Rolla said. 
He estimates 90 percent of the planes are small planes like Cessnas, single or twin engines with fewer than 12 seats.
According to the state Aeronautics Bureau, the state had 1,026 licensed aircraft in calendar year 2016.
Many use the airport for long-term parking. Rolla said Concord Aviation Services charges $45 a month for a small plane to stay at the airport. They also rent out planes.
The remaining 10 percent are mid-sized private jets for commercial use. Business people can make more efficient use of their time by flying between company locations or business meetings than driving there. 
A common jet is the Bombardier Global Express 6000, and Rolla said he sees them in Concord regularly.
“If they’re a company that’s working internationally, that’s a common aircraft that they use,” Rolla said.
They can operate easily on 6,000 feet of runway and are able to fly internationally with a range of 6,000 nautical miles. But even though they are the less common plane, they spend more at the airport.
“In terms of dollars, it’s split the other way around. Because that Global Express that comes in, those guys can say, ‘Can you roll up that fuel truck and empty it into our plane?’ And it’s a 3,000-gallon fuel truck,” Rolla said. 
To put that in perspective, a small plane can fly for an hour and burn 10 gallons. 
Small airports like Concord’s can sometimes even accommodate larger carriers in a pinch, though it’s not practical. Rolla said the Secret Service once examined the airport and determined that a Boeing 757 could land there if it needed to. 
Traffic control
The Nashua airport at Boire Field is one of the few small airports with its own control tower, kept running partly with federal dollars. 
But small, general aviation airports generally operate just fine without having a ground tower on site. 
Rolla said on clear days when it’s uncontrolled airspace, pilots don’t need to file a flight plan with the FAA. They tap into a shared radio station that is local to the airport they’re landing at or taking off from called a Common Traffic Advisory Frequency and everyone just announces what they’re doing on the channel. 
In this sense, it’s fairly self-regulated. Rolla said Concord is a “Class E” airspace, which means it’s generally less densely populated with aircraft, so there’s less need for a central traffic controller. 
On days when visibility is low, pilots are under instrument flight rules, and they have to file flight plans and keep in contact with FAA traffic controllers. 
Pretty much all of northern New England airspace is managed by the Boston Consolidated TRACON station in Merrimack. 
If you’re taking off from an airport that has a tower then you communicate with them until take-off, at which point you’re handed off to the FAA controllers at the TRACON station. 

®2020 Hippo Press. site by wedu