Pilots from around the country enjoy Alton Bay ice
By DAN SEUFERT
Union Leader Correspondent | March 09. 2014 6:20PM
The Alton Bay Airport is a state-owned and maintained ice airport, the only such airport in the country, according to airport officials. (DAN SEUFERT PHOTO)
The Alton Bay Airport, an airstrip on the ice of Lake Winnipesaukee, is owned and operated by the state. Airport Manager Paul Larochelle and his staff maintain the 2,600-foot runway, keeping it plowed and smooth for single-engine planes, the largest planes (aside from seaplanes) allowed to land.
It's mostly used by aviation enthusiasts from the region and around the country, most of whom enjoy landing on the ice and wandering around the Alton Bay ice, where two dozen or so airplanes park on any given weekend day.
On Saturday afternoon, planes were landing at the rate of about five an hour, which is not unusual, he said.
"It's a really nice little airport, and landing on the ice is really fun," said Kim Brown of Hampton Falls, whose plane crashed at the airport Saturday.
"It's really beautiful here, everyone loves flying here," he said.
The airport is a registered seaplane base, Larochelle said.