|Since opening in 2011, BXM has grown to average nearly 14,000 air operations per year (an average of more than 38 a day) with a record 14,627 in 2015. Last year, more than 233,000 gallons of fuel were sold, the second highest amount so far. Revenues from fuel sales support airport operations, improvements, and maintenance activities at BXM. The airport currently has 27 aircraft based on site and there is a waiting list for the T-hangars.
There are now seven aerospace/aviation firms doing business at BMX – ONE Aviation,Tempus Jets, MVP Aero, FlightLevel Aviation (FBO), Maine Coastal Flight, Greisen Aerospace, and Hoyle Tanner and Associates. Several other aviation firms are close to signing deals for space on the airport. Overall more than 925 jobs have been created at Brunswick Landing.
“To have this many aviation businesses here in just a few short years just shows you what a desirable airport this is,” MRRA Executive Director Steve Levesque said. “You simply won’t find another facility like it on the east coast with available hangars, modern state-of-the-art facilities, and unencumbered air space. We’re truly fortunate to have such a property right in one of the busiest parts of Maine. We’ve done pretty well in attracting businesses here so far, but we still have a long ways to go to fill up some of our largest hangars.”
The successful transition from a military to civilian airport has required significant investment and hard work. Since 2011, BXM has undergone major repairs and upgrades to bring it up to current FAA standards and local and state building and life safety codes. MRRA was able to secure more than $20 million in funding for the BXM capital improvement program. MRRA is using monies from the FAA’s Military Airport Program (MAP) to do the bulk of the work. Local and state contractors have benefited from this activity and it’s helped create close to 100 new jobs in construction trades.
Capital improvement project highlights include:
- New instrument landing system (ILS) for all-weather operations
- Repairs to Hangars 4, 5, and 6 to make them more energy efficient and bring them up to code
- Updates to the airport lighting systems for improved energy efficiency and decreased maintenance costs
- Re-marking and crack sealing the runways for general aviation pilots
- Precision approach path indicator installation and upgrades along with obstruction clearance
- Construction of a snow removal equipment building
- Construction of general aviation T-hangars
- Demolition of more than a dozen obsolete airport buildings, pavement, and fuel farm tanks
- Establishing a new airport terminal, fixed base operator, and airport offices in former Navy Air Operations Building
- Implementing wildlife management plan and increase habitat for endangered species
- Removing outer fence along Bath Road to create a pedestrian and bicycle pathway
- Installing rotating beacon atop Hangar 6
- Adding additional parking for airport patrons
- Installing airport security gates with proximity card system for authorized personnel
Additionally, BXM has continued to be the home of the Great State of Maine Air Show. Since the Navy left, the airport has hosted three air shows featuring the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. A fourth show featuring the Blue Angels is scheduled for August 2017. The airport is also used for other events such as fly-ins and the annual Race the Runways 5K.
While the first five years have been better than expected, there is a long road ahead to meet the airport’s full potential. Accordingly, MRRA is taking an aggressive approach in marketing the airport and seeking aircraft manufacturers, maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) businesses, and aerospace education and research and development entities.
“We continue to look for opportunities to market the airport,” Levesque said. “Our staff has worked very hard and traveled all over the U.S. and Europe to let folks know about BXM. Our goal now is to land some more businesses that will create quality jobs and make this airport Maine’s top destination for aerospace companies. We feel like we’ve only scratched the surface of the airport’s potential.”