Alton Bay New Hampshire, B18 is located on the southern edge of Lake Winnipesaukee, the largest Lake in New Hampshire. It is the only FAA sanctioned public Ice Runway with designator in the lower 48 states. “Come land on the frozen lake and get your Ice Wings and Ice Chip,” RAF New Hampshire Liaison John Meade says. Pilots eager to practice this New England tradition come from as far as New Jersey and the New England states.
The RAF has been a key supporter these past few years keeping this tradition alive, and again in 2020 Meade applied and was awarded a $1,250 grant toward operations. The grant boosts donations from New Hampshire Pilots Association, local pilots and a Maine FBO all motivated to keep the ice field plowed, as long as the ice holds up, typically through March.
NH Department of Transportation pays Paul LaRoche a small stipend toward his time and truck to plow, and other volunteers get involved to keep the ice field open. “Paul hosts a pizza party at the end of the season for his volunteers as a way of saying thank you,” Meade added.