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New Hampshire Flying Tigers? Auburn Road Flying Field

Model plane landing at new model plane air field in New Hampshire

Model plane landing at new Auburn Road Flying Field

The New Hampshire Flying Tigers have a new place to fly their model airplanes, thanks to a partnership between the EPA and the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA). The site of the Flying Tigers’ new flying venue may seem an unlikely place:  the Auburn Road Flying Field, the opening of which was marked by a ceremony on August 23, 2008, was formerly known as the Auburn Road landfill.   However, the site serves as a perfect example of how previously contaminated land can be cleaned up and reused to serve a community’s needs.   

Members of the local community as well as the AMA, enthusiastically welcomed the flying field’s opening.  Frank Emiro, a New Hampshire state representative, taxied a model plane to cut the opening tape. Rich Bono of the Flying Tigers said he is “thrilled to have the opportunity to use this location.” Throughout the air field’s opening day, members of the Flying Tigers offered flight demonstrations and conducted training for attendees.

The 200-acre Superfund site presented a unique opportunity for the AMA club. With flying space becoming increasingly difficult to come by as land is developed, several AMA clubs across the country are looking to Superfund sites to provide them with the space they need. EPA and the Flying Tigers have worked together at the site, which is a 2007 “Return to Use” demonstration project, for the past two years to make the new flying field a reality. Superfund’s Return to Use Initiative is designed to work with local communities to identify and remove barriers so that reuse occurs at cleaned up sites. Although the process took time, the New Hampshire Flying Tigers are extremely proud of their new field.

The flying club has taken steps to make the field usable and also have established procedures to act as responsible stewards of the site. Loam was brought in to create a grassed runway from a field comprised primarily of sand and brush, and the club hopes to continue to improve the flying field by creating larger areas for spectators. Members must sign an "Auburn Road Site Usage Rules" agreement each year before being allowed to fly at the Site.  The agreement states the following:

  • Be sure the gate is never left unlocked.
  • Log the date and times when using the site.
  • Use a 'closed loop' or 'double containment' system when fueling or de-fueling our aircraft to ensure no fuel is dripped on the ground. Additionally, if when using gasoline as a fuel, members must use this procedure over a cement pad.
  • Have each aircraft measured to be sure it meets our maximum sound output requirement.
  • There is to be no use, nor contact with any ground or surface water from the site.
  • There is to be no entry into the capped landfill areas of the site.

The effort expended by the Flying Tigers results in a win-win situation – EPA knows their remedy is being taken care of and the Flying Tigers can enjoy a new field where the young and young at heart fly their planes.

For more information visit EPA’s partnership with the Academy of Model Aeronautics. More information available about EPA’s efforts to support the Auburn Road Landfill under the Return to Use Initiative (PDF) (1 pg, 50K, About PDF).

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