Concord hopes to lure more companies to the city airport

  • Map of lots on the property of Concord Municipal Airport that are potentially being offered for development. —City of Concord

Monitor staff
Published: 10/3/2021 2:00:04 PM

More aviation-related buildings might be coming to Concord Municipal Airport.

The city is looking to see if there is interest in building on seven sites totaling almost 16 acres on the north side of the airport, adjacent to Regional Drive and Chenell Drive, near the New Hampshire National Guard building and the north end of a long-closed stretch of runway. Concord issued a Formal Request for Statements of Interest last month.

“This is basically to see what type of market capacity there is for people wanting to do aviation-related construction out there. Once we get the statements in, it will give the Airport Advisory Committee an opportunity to figure out … if they see a project that might work,” said Carlos Baia, deputy city manager for development.

The properties are all inside the airport’s safety perimeter and would be accessed through security gates.

Under FAA rules, buildings would have to be aviation-related, such as airplane hangars or repair facilities, or offices “to accommodate technologies.” Rules also mean the land cannot be sold, Baia said, but would be leased.

Among the goals of the project is to “maximize private investment at (the airport) in order to increase the city tax base” and “increase flight activity” there.

The airport covers almost 700 acres, much of which is preserved as conservation land. None of the proposed development sites are designated for conservation. Part of the property is regularly burned to preserve habitat for the endangered Karner blue butterfly.

Baia said it’s possible that down the road the groups that oversee the conservation land, including N.H. Fish and Game and U.S. Fish and Wildlife, might re-examine them.

“They were established 20 years ago. We might want to see if there are ways to reconfigure some of the conservation zones … that might be beneficial to conservation? Do they work, do they not work? Should we have this land here, maybe somewhere else?” he said.

Concord has had an airport for almost a century. Charles Lindbergh landed there in 1927 as part of a national barnstorming tour.

David Brooks bio photo

David Brooks is a reporter and the writer of the sci/tech column Granite Geek and blog, as well as moderator of the monthly Science Cafe Concord events. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in mathematics he became a newspaperman, working in Virginia and Tennessee before spending 28 years at the Nashua Telegraph . He joined the Monitor in 2015.

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