The extraordinary story behind the world's emergency landing capital

Submitted on Tue, 03/28/2017 - 11:40

The New England airport, perched as it is on the north-east corner of the United States, is perfectly placed to deal with any emergency situations that arise on aircraft crossing the Atlantic heading west.

And since 2005, BGR (its official code) has handled 1,170 “diversion or emergency type flights”: 22 security related; 709 fuel; 254 weather; 95 medical; and 90 mechanical.  

“We get notice while the aircraft is in the air - sometimes from the aircraft direct and sometimes from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) tower,” explains Tony Caruso, airport director since 1996. “Then we put our plan into place. Emergency personnel. Government agencies. Security personnel. Hospitals, fire, police. All called into action.”

Formerly a military base but still home to the Maine Air National Guard, Bangor is well equipped to deal with any aircraft that needs its help - military, cargo, passenger - in part thanks to its 3.5km runway.