Bangor International Airport is a public airport operated by the City of Bangor as well as an Air National Guard base home to the 101st Air Refueling Wing. It was originally known as Godfrey Field in the early 1920’s with passenger service commencing in the early 1930’s to Boston and Portland. Prior to WWII the field was taken over by the Army Air Corps and became the Bangor Air Army Field, and eventually Dow Air Force Base until 1968. Today it is the Bangor Air National Guard Base.
Bangor is a vital stop for commercial diversions as it is the first major air field encountered as aircraft enter US airspace after crossing the Atlantic, or the last as they prepare for the crossing. The long runway coupled with top notch medical facilities make it the go to place for pilots and airlines if they encounter an in flight emergency. There are several flights a week that divert to Bangor for fuel due to weather issues at the NYC area airports as well as Dulles, O’Hare and Philadelphia.
Being home to one of the longest runways on the East Coast of the US at 11.440 long by 200 feet wide Bangor can handle anything from a Cessna 172 to the mother of all aircraft, the Antonov AN-225 Mriya. When the NASA Space Shuttle program was going, Bangor was 4th on the list of landing strips for the Shuttle in the event others weren’t accessible.
Three major airlines service BGR, Delta, US Airways and low cost carrier Allegiant. Delta provides service to New York’s LaGuardia airport and Detroit’s Wayne County International Airport with Canadair and Embraer regional jets. US Airways provides service to New York’s LaGuardia, Philadelphia and Washington’s National airport with Embraer and Canadair regional jets. Low cost carrier Allegiant provides nonstop flights from Bangor to Orlando’s Sanford International Airport as well as St Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport with McDonnell Douglas MD-88 jets.