By Andrew Pomeroy C.M.
The early morning silence is broken as I announce my entrance into the right downwind for Runway 33 at Skyhaven Airport in Rochester, NH. The world below is bathed in that early morning amber glow during what we photo geeks call “the golden hour.” Rounding out from base to final approach over the golf course; throttle back, flaps down, windsock hanging limp, the Cessna floats down for final approach. The PAPI’s tell me what I already know and we’ve actually got it all set up perfectly for once. I have some time to relax and take it all in as we glide slowly down final.
The deep emerald green of the well-maintained grass is framed nicely with the curvy, hilly ribbons of asphalt taxiways that give the airport a pleasant, homey almost pastoral aesthetic. Can airports be beautiful? I may be biased but I believe this one really is and strikingly so.
I note right away that there is already activity below. The doors to the Skyhaven Flying Clubs hangars are open and the planes are out. On the tie down ramp sits a Citation Jet that came in sometime last night and I recognize a local physician tying down his beautifully restored Tri-Pacer on the ramp. With practices in a couple states he uses his Piper to commute between them. Skyhaven is conveniently located right down the street from his local office. He’s one of a handful of physicians and businessmen who regularly fly to do the same. So I’m not the only one flying to work this morning, nor am I even the first today.
I taxi up to the ramp near the terminal building. Currently, the terminal is getting a much needed facelift and modernization to include improved ADA access and ADA accessible restrooms. The Skyhaven Airport is owned and operated by the Pease Development Authority, and as the name implies we manage both the Portsmouth International Airport (KPSM) and the Rochester Skyhaven Airports (KDAW). This allows us to take some of those big, international airport resources and apply them here at the smaller community GA airport. The current terminal renovation is an example of this as the work is being done in house by some of the Portsmouth Airport’s talented maintenance staff.
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