The seaplane base adjacent the now-closed Twitchell Airport in Turner, Maine, has reopened, and once again seaplane pilots have access to the base’s dock as well as a place to get fuel.
Maine pilots were distressed to learn in 2022 that Twitchell Airport, the state’s last privately owned, commercially operated airport, had been sold and would close. The adjoining seaplane base on the Androscoggin River was well-known in the aviation community as one of the few places in the United States where one could rent a floatplane for solo operations.
“It’s huge, a big deal,” said Kate McGhee, who co-owns Dirigo Aerospace Solutions with her husband, Mark McGhee. “We’re pretty excited about it.” Fuel is for sale at the dock, and Dirigo is ready to help aircraft owners transition their airplanes from land to water operations.
Prior to the airport’s closure, McGhee said, “you could taxi an airplane down the road” from the airport to the seaplane base. “Now we have secured a base of operations at the Auburn-Lewiston Airport.” Her husband will fly airplanes from Auburn/Lewiston Municipal Airport to a nearby private grass strip near the Androscoggin River where they have secured permission to land. There, floats can be installed and the airplane put on the water.
“We’re thrilled to be able to provide the service,” Kate McGhee said. “It left a hole in the community [when the seaplane base closed].”
“We can’t have an operating full-fledged seaplane base without a land base,” McGhee said. “Auburn-Lewiston is key, and they have been great in working with us.”