Full Steam Ahead on Domestic Terminal Remodel

Posted on April 6, 2015 by

If you have been to BGR lately to catch a flight to a warmer place, you will have noticed that the space to the right of the escalator is very quiet since the ticket counters have all moved to the other end of terminal.

But behind that large white wall there has been a lot going on.


Sheridan Corporation has been full steam ahead first tearing out all of the old airline offices, and then starting to build out the new space for the new airline offices and the new baggage screening system.


Carpenter Associates, our clerk of the work, keeps everything moving forward and facilitates a weekly meeting with all of the “players”.  It is always exciting to see and hear about how much progress has been made and how fast the job is progressing.

This current phase is the longest phase of the project as it involves the most technical portion of the newly remodeled space with the new baggage screening system.

If all continues at its current pace and we don’t hit any snags, the airlines should be moved into their new space by mid-autumn. This means BGR passengers will be able to start experincing the new technology for checking in and having their bags screened. No more need to take your bag to a drop-off after it is tagged by your airline.

BGR Snow Team preparing for arriving flight during a snowstorm

Snow, snow, and more snow

Posted on February 6, 2015 by

Okay, so it is not snowing right this minute at Bangor International, but we have had 49.9 inches of snow in the last ten days and almost 100 inches since November 1st. It is -3 degrees with a wind chill many degrees colder as I write this and the forecast is for snow starting Sunday morning and ending on Tuesday – again.  And just this week the National Weather Service notified us “that Bangor has set a new record for the most amount of snow in a short period of time.  There was no snow on the ground as of January 24th.  Since then 45 inches in 9 calendar days.”  (Not a record we were striving to break by the way.)

So far this winter has been challenging for all of us but no more so than for the BGR Snow Team. It is one thing to have 18 inches of snow in a storm and quite another matter to have just under 50 inches in ten days with a storm every other day or so.

In past winters, there is usually enough time between storms for our award winning Snow Team to “cleanup” meaning they can fine tune the snow removal around all of the signs and lights on the airfield, move snow piles from the ramps, and melt snow as needed.

Robbie Beaton, Superintendent of Facilities, said, “The challenges this snow season have been many. The Snow Team has been working around the clock with no breaks for the last 10 days. With 12 hour shifts and constant snow, extreme cold, and wind, it gets a little discouraging. That being said, we have stayed open and fully operational thanks to their great efforts.”  Generally speaking if flights are cancelled it is due to closures at the other end and/or the repositioning of aircraft by the airlines during major weather events.

Snow removal on an airfield is part science, part art. As the storm is forecast, the Snow Team looks at the conditions forecast, i.e. wet, heavy snow, light, fluffy snow, wind, no wind, temperatures, etc., and formulate a plan. As the storm arrives, they adjust for any changes between forecast and reality, determine whether they will need to use fluid or not, what the wind patterns are and then they start their dance on the airfield.

BGR Snow Plow Ballet

BGR Snow Plow Ballet

Yes, I said dance because it is like a ballet with precise movements, rhythms, and tempos. It is always amazing to me just to stand and watch them work. If you happen to be at the airport and have a view of the airfield on a snowy day watch for the line of snow equipment moving down the runway or across one of the ramps and be amazed. And if by chance you have the opportunity, please take it to say “Thank you” to the BGR Snow Team for keeping us open and you flying even in a record breaking snow season.

BGR flight leaving for Florida

BGR flight leaving for Florida

Holiday Travel Tips

Posted on November 24, 2014 by

Hard to believe that the holiday travel season is upon us and yet here it is.

There are some things you can do to make sure your trip goes as smoothly as possible.

1. Be sure to stay connected. Download your favorite travel apps such as Gate Guru and Flight Status to your smartphone before leaving home.

2. If possible, print your boarding passes at home, use a check-in kiosk at the airport, or pull up your boarding pass on your smartphone.

3. Pack wisely and light. If you can avoid checking a bag, you will generally save money (depends on the airline), and time at the baggage conveyor and you will be prepared if you need to change plans in the middle of your trip due to weather, etc. If going the carry-on route, pay particular attention to TSA’s rules about liquids and gels following the 3-1-1 guidelines at TSA.gov. Since it is the holidays, remember wrapped packages can cause security check-in delays. It is best to wrap at your destination or better yet ship the packages ahead.

4. Pack snacks for the trip and potential delays along the way. Once you get through security, you can buy water and other beverages to take on-board. Don’t get hangry along the way. Keep yourself and your travel companions fueled up for the trip.

5. Pack plenty of books, games, and other entertainment for yourself and especially for any children traveling with you.

6. Be sure that you are aware of alternative routes, flights and airports to reach your destination, that way you can help reroute yourself if needed.

7. Allow extra time everywhere – driving to the airport, check-in, and getting through security. Even if you are an expert traveler, during the holiday season there are many who only travel occasionally and they may need extra help getting through the airport and the process.

8. Take a deep breath and keep in mind the reason you are traveling in the first place.

Happy Holidays and Safe Travels.

Update to Summer Construction at BGR

Posted on August 12, 2014 by

We are almost half way done with the paving construction project around Godfrey Blvd. at BGR, wanted to give passengers an update. 2014 BGR Paving

Starting early this morning (8/12), paving will begin on Phase I. Over the past three weeks, construction crews have removed several layers of pavement that have been “patched” over the last few years, and have improved several drainage issue areas. Once paving starts tomorrow, the lane will be level.

Beginning early Thursday morning (8/13), the barriers will start being moved to the right lane of Godfrey Blvd. This means that there will be no passenger pick up/drop-off in front of the terminal for several weeks. Passengers needing wheelchair assistance may be dropped off or picked up in front of the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel. All other passengers may be picked up or dropped off in the Short Term parking lot (there are signs indicating where to go). Remember the first 15 minutes of parking in the Short Term lot are FREE!

Continuing from the first post about construction, typically, passengers are encouraged to arrive at least 1-2 hours prior to flight departure to park, check luggage, and process security screening. During this time, please plan to arrive closer to 2 hours prior to scheduled departure, to ensure you catch your flight.   

Finally, starting today for a period of about three hours, the Car Rental Return entrance will be relocated just around the corner (please see photo). Signage will be posted, and we will announce the change on facebook and twitter.

The construction that is taking place will help improve access to BGR and make the roadways safer for the winter season. Finally, to recap:

  • Passengers needing wheelchair assistance may park in front of the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel starting Thursday.
  • All other passengers may be picked up/dropped off in Short Term Parking, and the first 15 minutes are FREE. Please do not park on the side of the road or in the middle of the road as it is a safety hazard.
  • Passengers traveling to BGR needing a Taxi should proceed to the Short Term Lot where they will be waiting.
  • Passengers flying out of BGR should arrive approximately 2 hours prior to their scheduled departure to allow for new traffic patterns for parking/drop-off and Summer flight times.
  • Check BGR’s Facebook/Twitter pages for construction updates, as we transition through phases.

Thank you for your patience while we work to the customer experience at BGR. If you have any questions, please comment or email us at admin@flybangor.com

Summer Construction at BGR

Posted on July 21, 2014 by

During the next couple months, passengers traveling to BGR will see some traffic pattern changes, as paving begins this week.

2014 BGR Paving

Phasing of 2014 Godfrey Blvd. Construction

The roadway on Godfrey Blvd. past the Maine Ave./Godfrey Blvd. round-a-bout, will be down to one lane for the majority of the summer. Please follow the signs for temporary passenger pick-up and drop-off in the Short Term parking lot, as drop-off in front of the Domestic Terminal will not be possible during this time. The first 15 minutes of parking in the parking lot is FREE! 

Parking lot and car rental return entrances will be periodically affected. We will be making paving update announcements via our facebook and Twitter pages as phases change. However, passengers should plan an extra 15-20 minutes for travel time to BGR, especially as several flight departure times happen around the same time. Typically, passengers are encouraged to arrive at least 1-2 hours prior to flight departure to park, check luggage, and process security screening. During this time, please plan to arrive closer to the 2 hours prior to scheduled departure, to ensure you catch your flight.   

Also, during this time, the Taxi stand at BGR will be moved to Short Term Parking as well as all other ground transportation pick ups (buses, shuttles, etc.)  Passengers arriving to BGR that need ground transportation services, should proceed across the designated walkway to the Short Term Lot.

The construction that is taking place will help improve access to BGR and make the roadways safer for the winter season. Finally, to recap:

  • Passenger Pick-up/Drop Off has moved to Short Term Parking, and the first 15 minutes are free.
  • Passengers traveling to BGR needing a Taxi should proceed to the Short Term Lot where they will be waiting. As will shuttle and bus pick-up.
  • Passengers flying out of BGR should arrive approximately 2 hours prior to their scheduled departure to allow for new traffic patterns for parking/drop-off and Summer flight times.
  • Check BGR’s Facebook/Twitter pages for construction updates, as we transition through phases.

Thank you for your patience while we work to the customer experience at BGR. If you have any questions, please comment or email us at admin@flybangor.com 

Why Doesn’t BGR Have Flights to…?

Posted on April 7, 2014 by

One of our most frequently asked questions is, “Why don’t you have direct flights to…Boston, Las Vegas, Atlanta, etc.?

Air Service Development  is a lengthy process, and is more difficult than picking up the phone and calling an airline and saying, “Hey, we have a lot of people here who would like to go to place X, when can we have a plane to go there?”  as I admittedly once thought when I first started my internship in the Marketing Department.

Before BGR obtains a new service route, we must first answer a lot of questions.  Yes, we would like air service to almost anywhere, but is it the right fit?  Is there enough demand for the service to make the route successful?  What size aircraft would we ask for or like to have?  Does the airline most likely to serve that route have any “spare” aircraft?  What would the price of the tickets be to support the service?  Is that price marketable?  The Marketing Department studies where our passengers are traveling to and coming from, and tries to match our service requests accordingly.

Risteen Bahr, the Marketing Manager at BGR, is continuously in discussions with airlines and our air service consultants about new service, expanded routes and right-sizing of aircraft and the frequency of flights on existing routes.  We attend air service development conferences each year where we have meetings with airlines to propose new and expanded service. When we do this, we discuss our “catchment area”, the population of people within a predetermined radius, the demand for service at BGR, the local business climate, and potential support for new routes.  Basically, it comes down to –  the more people in the area, the more likely BGR is to get new or expanded air service.

We also have to show that there is interest in why people would come here.  Many times we think about planes leaving, but what about the visitors traveling here?  We need to demonstrate that people want to come here year round, as well as seasonally.

Finally, we look at potential ticket costs.  As we know, the largest driver of air travel costs is the cost of fuel.   And while we as the airport have no say in prices airlines set for tickets, we understand that there is a delicate balance between the size of the aircraft, the number of seats, and the length of the trip.  It always goes back to the question about demand, and how sustainable and profitable the route would be if an airline starts service here.  Air fares that are not priced right will not be supported with traveler purchases.

One final point – we get a lot of requests for Boston service.  It’s not that we do not want it, it’s just we have not found the right fit for the service.  We know that the size of the aircraft has to be right to sustain the route, but also pricing needs to be reasonable for people to want to fly instead of drive.  Ever since the price of oil, and thus jet fuel, increased about seven years ago, airlines do not serve the short haul market as much.  However, it is something we discuss regularly with airlines, and work hard to encourage an airline to bring Boston service back to Bangor.

We hope this helps answer your questions.  If you have another question you would like answered, please send it to leldridge@flybangor.com.



1st Floor Renovation Project About to Begin

Posted on February 21, 2014 by

Starting Monday, February 24th, construction will begin on a $10 million renovation project for the first floor of the Domestic Terminal at BGR. Construction will take place in four phases, as to limit disruptions to passengers traveling to and from BGR. At no point will there be a disruption to air service due to the construction.

Starting Monday, Phase I begins. The focus of the phase is to update the escalators. These updates will make the escalators safer and more energy efficient.

One escalator will be shut down at a time for upgrades, with one escalator remaining for passenger use. During this phase, passengers needing additional assistance traveling between floors should use the elevator. The elevator located next to the Delta ticket counter on the 1st floor and the Coffee Shop located on the 2nd floor. There are also stairs next to the escalators for passengers to use.

Phase II, is scheduled to start this summer, while Phase I is still in progress. Below is more information about the construction and upgrades coming to BGR. Construction Infographic

BGR’s Shuttle Lot Scheduled to Open for 2014 Peak Travel Season

Posted on February 4, 2014 by

For the second year, BGR will be utilizing an overflow parking lot to help accommodate the increase in passenger traffic during the peak travel season of February-April.Shuttle Lot Bus

The Shuttle Lot is scheduled to open February 12th, 2014. Notification of the lot’s official opening will be made on the BGR website, as well as on our social media sites: facebook, twitter, and LinkedIn. Signage indicating the lots opening, will be placed visibly for passengers traveling to the airport on Godfrey Blvd., Maine Ave., and Griffin Road, indicating where they should go to park. The Shuttle Lot will only be used if the Long Term Parking Lot at BGR is at full capacity.

The Shuttle Lot is located at the corner of Godfrey Blvd. and Maine Ave., with the entrance on the Maine Ave.

Vehicle drivers with multiple passengers traveling, are encouraged to drop them, as well as their luggage, off at the front doors of the terminal and then circle back to the Shuttle Lot. This will allow for maximum utilization of the Shuttle Lot Shuttle.

The Shuttle Lot Shuttle, makes trips ever 10-15 minutes to and from the Shuttle Lot and Terminal. Passengers can either wait in their vehicles or in the Shuttle Stop Shelter.

When passengers return, the shuttle will pick them up and bring them back to their vehicles. During off-peak travel times, passengers needing to access the Shuttle Lot will need to use a Courtesy Phone (located on the 1st floor) to alert the shuttle they need a ride. For more information about the Shuttle Lot please visit: http://bit.ly/1aRMKAD

Shuttle Lot Map

BGR’s Snow Team

Posted on December 12, 2013 by

Marty Kelly, Airfield Maintenance Supervisor

Marty Kelly, Airfield Maintenance Supervisor

Over the next few months, we will bring you an inside look at what happens behind the scenes at BGR. Topics will cover everything from General Aviation to Marketing to Fuel and areas in between, but with the start of winter right around the corner, we wanted to introduce you to the team that keeps BGR open and our runways safe: Airfield Maintenance.

Recently, I sat down with Marty Kelly-Airfield Maintenance Supervisor to discuss how he and the team he leads are getting ready for the upcoming winter season. The Snow Team as they are commonly referred to has gained recognition the last three winters as award recipients at the AAAE Snow Symposium. The following is from our Q&A:

Lisa: “Marty, how long have you worked here at BGR?”
Marty: “Twenty-one years, and all of that time has been right here in Airfield Maintenance.”

Lisa: “Marty, what do you like about your job?”
Marty: “I love my job, I like the people I work with-we have a great crew, and every day is different.”

Lisa: “In your time here, how many times has the runway closed due to weather?”
Marty: “In my time here, the runway has never closed!”

Lisa: “In a typical storm, how long does it take to plow the runway?”
Marty: “In a typical storm, with the right equipment and enough personnel, we can clear the runway in fifteen minutes.”

Lisa: “Marty, what’s the biggest challenge you have ever encountered working here?”
Marty: “Eight or nine years ago, we had a storm where it was snowing two inches an hour from 12pm-6am. We were getting in a lot of diversions, and worked really hard to make the runways safe to land and to clear enough ramp space for them to park.”

We are very proud of the work the Snow Team does to keep BGR open and the fact that our runway doesn’t close because of weather. Most often, when there is a delay or cancellation on our flight information display system (FIDs) it is because of bad weather and runway conditions at the destination. We work really hard to make sure everyone is safe whether to land or take off.  Make sure you check your flight schedule before traveling to the airport, just in case your flight has already been delayed or canceled.”

We look forward to giving you a behind the scenes look into BGR. If you want us to cover a particular topic, email us at admin@flybangor.com!

Snow Team

2013 Snow Team

5 Tips For Holiday Travelers

Posted on November 15, 2013 by

Holiday travel is projected to be the highest its been in recent years with 25 million travelers estimated for this year’s Thanksgiving!

BGR has seen the start of the holiday travel season this week and would like to share some helpful hints for a those traveling in the upcoming weeks!

1. Allow an extra 30 minutes-This is on top on the normal 1-2 hours. Do some research-See when your flight is scheduled to leave. If there are other flights scheduled around the same time, allow for extra time for security screening.

2. Check-in online or on your airline’s app and print off boarding passes before arriving to the airport if you can.

3. Remember TSA’s 3-1-1 Rule. Passengers with carry-on luggage are allowed 1-quart size bag per every 1-traveler and liquids, gels, and pastes are less than 3-ounces. Store the bag in the front of your carry-on for easy removal during screening.

4. Wrap gifts after traveling. There is nothing worse than spending time perfectly wrapping Grammy’s gift just to have it get unwrapped during security screening.

5. Have your photo ID ready when you go through screening. The ID you use must be current (not expired), match the name on your boarding pass, and list your date of birth. Valid forms of ID include State IDs, Driver’s Licences, Military IDs, and Passports.

We wish everyone traveling this holiday season safe and happy travels! If you have any other travel questions that were not answered in this post, email us at admin@flybangor.com.