Lebanon Municipal Airport
Lebanon Municipal Airport, or LEB, is a city-owned, public-use airport in Grafton County, New Hampshire. It is the northernmost airport in New Hampshire, near the Vermont border. For the 12-month period ending May 31st, 2010, there were 39,283 aircraft operations, 77% general aviation, 22% air taxi, and 1% military. There were 52 aircraft based at the airport, 58% single-engine, 3.8% multi-engine, 2% jet, 35% helicopter, and 2% glider. The airport covers 563 acres, and there are two runways: 7/25, which is 5,496 by 100 feet (asphalt); and 18/36, which is 5,200 by 100 feet (asphalt).
LEB originated in February 1941, whereby the Board of Selectmen was permitted to purchase 750 acres on Slack Hill. While no information has been provided on what happened next, In June 1944, the federal government turned over the airport to the town (with the city promising that full rights would remain with the government (so we can assume that the military had been using the airport during WWII). Following the war, veteran aviator Sumner Atherton set up Connecticut Valley Airways, and in 1947 he successfully bid for a 20-year lease to operate LEB. He served as airport manager from 1950 to 1969 and was simultaneously Head and sole director of Connecticut Valley Airways. Overall, he was instrumental in growing aviation in the region. Scheduled service to LEB began in 1948 through Northeast Airlines, with the airport being one of the stops on a daily round-trip service connecting New York and Montreal. In 1964, Northeast was operating a non-stop flight to New York’s JFK Airport; by 1969, Northeast was running up to 10 flights a day. In 1972, Northeast was merged into Delta Air Lines, which continued to serve the airport. Delta continued using the turboprops that Northeast had used, and while they began jet flights at the airport at nearby Keene, New Hampshire, they did not operate jet flights from LEB. By 1975, Delta was no longer serving LEB, with all flights operated by Air New England. Other airlines serving LEB include Colgan Air (operating as US Airways Express), a service that ended in 2008. That same year, Cape Air began service to Boston (a service that continues to this day).
The airport is located three nautical miles west of the central business district of Lebanon.
- Competition from the much larger Manchester-Boston Regional Airport has led to the decline of LEB in recent years.
- The area serviced by the airport includes Hanover, New Hampshire, and Dartmouth College (as well as the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center).
- The terminal building, completed in 1982 and last renovated in 2017, is currently being renovated internally and externally. This includes adding insulated metal panels, replacing the existing glass with energy-efficient safety glass, replacing public area lights with LED lighting, and replacing the carpeting. Renovations are expected to be complete by mid-January 2023.
- Family-owned Nano Brew Pub Bright Side Brewing is now open at LEB.
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