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Skyhaven Airport unveils longer runway

With the air smelling like rain, and the sky blanketed in stubborn clouds refusing to disperse, a new runway was unveiled that would allow pilots an easier time landing in conditions much like those overhead.

There was a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Skyhaven Airport on Saturday to celebrate a new runway that was finished in November. The runway was lengthened from 4,000 feet to 4,200 feet and added Omni directional approach lighting system to assist pilots in locating the runway.

Bill Hopper said the new runway allows planes a safety buffer in the case of bad weather or lack of visibility.

“It increases the approach capabilities of the runway,” he said. “In less visibility we’re still able to operate.”

Peter Brucker, the chair of Skyhaven Airport advisory council, said this is a critical step for the infrastructure in the area.

“It is a very integral part of NPIAS (National Plan of Integral Airport Systems),” he said. “It is now more likely for businesses to base their planes at Skyhaven.” Read more.

Hole-in-One

Three local golfers accomplish the rare feat, just days after courses reopened to the public.

PORTSMOUTH — The only thing Sonny Boyd was thinking about when he drove into the Pease Golf Course parking lot in the early morning hours last Monday was how good it was going to feel to get back on the links.

Boyd, a 1965 graduate of Portsmouth High School and 40-year employee at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, was thinking about much more than just golf on his way back to his Kittery, Maine, home.

Boyd recorded his first career hole-in-one, acing the par-3, 162-yard ninth hole. With his 6 a.m. tee time on the state’s first day of reopening golf courses, Boyd believes he possibly could have hit the first hole-in-one in New Hampshire when his ball rolled into the hole just before 7:30 a.m.

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PDA takes over Skyhaven Airport

Following a two-year holding pattern, the Pease Development Authority reluctantly accepted the transfer of Skyhaven Airport — along with a projected $200,000 annual loss in revenue — at its board of directors meeting Thursday.

PORTSMOUTH — Following a two-year holding pattern, the Pease Development Authority reluctantly accepted the transfer of Skyhaven Airport — along with a projected $200,000 annual loss in revenue — at its board of directors meeting Thursday.

The vote was more of a formality because the PDA, a state agency, was handed the responsibility of managing the airport from the state Legislature. The idea was first proposed in 2007, but a number of technical issues had to be resolved before the transfer was made official.

While the PDA voted 4-1 (with one abstention) in favor of taking over airport operations, most members made it clear they did not feel it was the best move.

“I’m going to vote for it,” said board member Peggy Lamson, “but I’m mad.”

“This is an undertaking that we know is going to at least cost us a couple hundred thousand a year,” said board member Bob Allard. “I just can’t vote for it. I don’t know what that means. I know there would be a number of ramifications … I’m just going to vote ‘no’ and see what happens.”

“This isn’t the greatest deal in the world, no question,” said board member Anthony McManus, responding to Allard’s stance. “But as I understand it, we don’t have a choice.” Read more

Skyhaven gets federal grant for taxiway

ROCHESTER, N.H. — Skyhaven Airport is getting a $967,399 federal grant to build a parallel taxiway to the airport’s only runway, eliminating the need to taxi on the active runway.

ROCHESTER, N.H. — Skyhaven Airport is getting a $967,399 federal grant to build a parallel taxiway to the airport’s only runway, eliminating the need to taxi on the active runway.

State aeronautics director Jack Ferns said the money will improve safety at the airport.

New Hampshire Sens. Judd Gregg and John Sununu also said the taxiway is needed to protect the public as the airport’s usage increases. Read more

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