Officials with the Recreational Aviation Foundation are reporting that the town of Dover-Foxcroft in Maine is considering closing Charles A. Chase Jr. Memorial Airfield (44B) to install a four megawatt solar generating plant.
RAF Maine Liaison Andy Rowe, Steve Mason, and RAF New Hampshire Liaison John Meade are rallying pilots to protect the 2,926′ scenic airfield. Camping is encouraged on the field, and it’s within a mile from town that lines the Piscataquis River, RAF officials report.
RAF officials point out that:
- There are other suitable locations for the solar plant that would not close this historic airfield.
- Closing the airfield disregards the honor of the Charles A. Chase family, who dedicated the land for a public airport in the 1950s. The family supports its continued operation.
- Acreage exists surrounding the runway. The city could explore shared land use. Permanently closing the airport is “simply unnecessary,” RAF officials say.
- Open land is available close to a substation, near three-phase power.
- Solar arrays have been installed on landfill properties. Dover-Foxcroft’s is approximately 30 acres and would be an ideal location for solar panels.
- Recreational airfields have economic value to a community.
- Pilot organizations such as the Recreational Aviation Foundation have willing volunteers to assist with maintaining airfields.
A public meeting is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, at the Morton Avenue Municipal Building in Dover-Foxcroft.
If you cannot attend the meeting, you are asked to send emails of support to the Board of Selectmen.
You can send comments before the Nov. 12 meeting to members of the Board of Selectmen, including:
- Town Manager, Jack Clukey, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cindy Freeman Cyr, vice chairman of the board, email@example.com
- Jane Conroy, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Gail D’Agostino, email@example.com
- Stephen Grammont, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Scott A. Taylor, email@example.com
- Ernie Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org