The official word from the FAA is that Red Pine airport located within The Nature Conservancy’s Saint John River Forest in northern Maine now has an FAA identifier. RAF Maine Liaison Andy Rowe and the Nature Conservancy were notified on January 31 by the FAA that, “Your airport has been created and assigned airport ID: 82ME,” with an effective date of February 22, 2024.
Officially called Red Pine Grove, the remote paved airfield lies just a dozen miles from Quebec. Originally built by International Paper as a facility for forest management, it was abandoned and closed decades ago. Recognizing its recreational appeal and in response to wide regional interest in reopening the airport, RAF Liaison John Nadeau initiated dialog with The Nature Conservancy back in 2009. Rowe and fellow Maine Liaison Steve Mason, along with RAF supporter and TNC trustee John Sowles, gathered other volunteers over several work parties and returned the airfield to a safe condition. The RAF signed an agreement with TNC in 2022 to manage it for recreational aviation use. The North Maine Woods organization maintains recreational facilities throughout the northern part of the state, including the camping facilities at Red Pine.
Rowe claims good muskie fishing in the Saint John River, colorful fall foliage, and access to good hunting from Red Pine. “Flying in saves hours of driving on logging roads,” he added. Thanks go to Sowles, in-holder Bill Sylvester, Lisa Reese of the Maine Aeronautics Association and her husband, Steve Williams of the Seaplane Pilots Association, “who have been very helpful for over a decade,” Rowe added.
For more information and the required Safety Briefing for Red Pine Grove, see the Airfield Guide.
Rowe pointed out that Estcourt in Aroostook County has also received its FAA identifier, 19ME. Watch for more details on Estcourt, and its addition to the Airfield Guide in the near future.
Submitted February 12, 2024
By Carmine Mowbray