Nantucket Airport Terminal

The new airport terminal and redesigned old terminal are now open and functioning out at Nantucket Memorial Airport, 20 months and $29 million later. The Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission paid $12 million, the FAA $11.5 million, and the airport the remainder.

The building includes a state of the art geothermal heating and cooling system – a heat exchanger uses water in wells 180 feet under the building to supply almost all the building’s heating and cooling needs. There are many other green features – airport manager Al Peterson is especially excited about the energy efficient and lickety-split hand dryers in the bathrooms.

Look for a new baggage handling system, security area, gift shop, car rental areas, and the soon to be opened information counter.

More than 500,000 people a year fly in and out of the airport (150,000 take offs and landings), which is also now the largest art gallery on Nantucket, with more than 250 pieces, all for sale and all by islanders. The current exhibition was curated by Reggie Levine.

No one wanted the new wooden furniture to look new, so it was allowed to sit outdoors on a dock in Maine until it passed the weathered-on-Nantucket test.

And we finally have a professional looking sign at the entrance to the airport instead of the old airport rock. Some will say that’s progress, some will ask what was wrong with the rock. The rock is still there though, relagated to a position that can only be read if one has risked tires and shocks, life and limb using the back way obstacle course to the airport. That poor white rock that served us so well – can someone roll it over a bit to restore its dignity.

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