Address airport matter

Imagine being a passenger in an airplane landing at an airport with deteriorating pavement. Somehow, we do not believe this is a good idea.

According to Nashua Airport Manager Chris Lynch, the problems at Boire Field are becoming serious.

“It gets to the point where it’s no longer safe when you have aircraft traveling over loose pavement. You don’t want somebody ingesting that into their aircraft, or shooting a piece of pavement somewhere,” Lynch told city leaders during a recent meeting about the issue.

Lynch said Nashua’s airport saw about 60,000 takeoffs or landings in 2018. That is nowhere near the number a typical large commercial airport sees, but it also means there were 60,000 chances for some type of accident involving an aircraft.

According to Lynch, an additional $69,000 investment from the city will provide a resolution to the problem.

Lynch said 95% of the funding for these projects comes from either the federal or state government, with 90% covered by the Federal Aviation Administration and 5% remaining from the New Hampshire Department of Transportation. He said the city only has to match 5%.

“So, in all reality, if you think about it, the city is improving their infrastructure here for 5% of what it really costs to do it, so it’s a bargain,” Lynch said.

Nashua Board of Aldermen Vice President Michael O’Brien has also expressed concerns about loose pavement affecting the airplanes, or, potentially, humans.

“Then, it is a missile — whatever it does to the engine, too,” O’Brien said about a scenario in force generated by an airplane would turn broken pavement into projectiles.

Originally, the city’s share was only supposed to be $122,500. Due to the project going up in scope from $2.4 million to $3.8 million, airport officials are now requesting $191,819 from the city.

In the grand scheme, the extra $69,000 (or so) seems like a small price to pay for Nashua to ensure the safety of its airport. The Gate City is fortunate to have such a facility, so proper and timely maintenance is appropriate.