- Stephen A. Bean Municipal Airport
Stephen A. Bean Municipal Airport
The Rangeley Airport, now known as the Stephen A. Bean Municipal airport, has been around for many decades. There is little information on the early history of the Rangeley Airport, we do know that in 1934 plans to create an airport in Rangeley meant this would make Rangeley a model airport. Twenty men of the Civilian Conservation Corps (C.C.C.) cut and cleared the area and on the northeast to southwest and about 1500’ long X 200’ wide. The construction was completed June 7, 1934 and was dedicated on August 24 and 25 of 1934. The Forest Service used the airport to base planes to fly forest fire patrols. At a later date a cross runway was constructed.
In late 1971 plans were being made to renovate Rangeley Airport. There was an active charter service operating off the turf strip so a longer runway would be a great benefit. On June 7, 1972 the surveying was completed and on June 19, just a couple weeks later, work began on the expansion. Bridge construction was completing the work and had only 40 days to complete all their work. When completed the runway would be 2700’ long and 75’ wide. In August of 1972 the paving was completed and the runway headings for Runway 31 and 14 were painted at the end of each runway. With the airport renovations came the building of hangars on the Old Cross Runway. The official ribbon cutting and open house took place on a Sunday morning August 27, 1978. Since the ribbon cutting there have been many upgrades including runway lights, navigational aids, non-directional beacon, T-hangars, and in 1990 a maintenance Hangar was installed.
In March of 1993 the final draft for the 1991 airport runway expansion was completed, for months these plans were studied and on August 3, 1997 the renovations were approved at a Special Town Meeting. The Runway expansion was paved and completed in 1998; the runway is presently 3,201’ long and 75’ wide. Between 2001 and 2002 the Rangeley Airport was renamed, the name changed to Stephen A. Bean Municipal Airport to honor Mr. Bean and his untimely death. Stephen Bean and his wife Joann Bean had operated Mountain Air Services (originally Steve’s Air Service), from 1971 until his death in December of 2000. This was the longest operating Air Charter Service in the history of Rangeley Airport.
In 2018 the Town of Rangeley was awarded an $11.5 million grant to expand the runway for emergency medical services. The award was through the Federal Aviation Administration's Airport Improvement Program. The 3,201-foot runway was too short to accommodate LifeFlight of Maine's King Air B200 plane, which is essentially equipped as a flying emergency hospital, to land and depart safely. Residents voted 265-88 to move forward on the proposal to add 1,100 feet to the runway. 690 feet were added to the north end of the airport and 410 feet were added to the south. The current runway is 4,301 feet long and can support small jet aircraft.
The Stephen A. Bean Municipal Airport continues to grow, there have been more hangars erected and a snow removal building constructed. We continue to welcome new growth to this historic airport.