By Mike Lange, Piscataquis Observer
GREENVILLE, Maine — A Hampden physician who has been flying for more than 17 years is in the process of buying the fixed-base operation at Greenville Municipal Airport from Max Folsom.
Dr. Peter Thompson said that while nothing is finalized yet, work is progressing on the transfer of ownership. “I’ve known Max for a long, long time. I’ve been going to the (International Seaplane) Fly-In for at least 20 years, and this is an opportunity that comes once in a lifetime,” Thompson said.
Under the proposed arrangement, Thompson will buy the 60- by 80-foot hangar at the airport, a house on the property, 10 tie-downs and the low-lead gasoline pumps.
Folsom would lease hangar space for maintenance work, continue to give flight instructions and assist Thompson in overseeing the FBO. “This keeps Max involved doing the things he enjoys,” Thompson said. “He’s an icon in the community.”
The agreement would also let Thompson use the leased property in downtown Greenville as a seaplane base.
Folsom said that the decision to sell the FBO was based on a couple of factors. “My health is somewhat of an issue,” Folsom said. “And at first, I thought my family might be interested in taking it over, but they have other interests outside of aviation. Pete can now do things I can’t.”
Folsom’s family has been a part of the Greenville aviation scene since the 1940s, and his current company was founded by his father and the late Louis Hilton in 1963.
“This is a win-win situation for me, Pete and the town,” Folsom said. “Separating the lease into two components means that one of us can usually be around if something comes up. It will also benefit the town.”
Thompson said that one of the biggest selling points was the International Seaplane Fly-In whichtraditionally runs on the weekend after Labor Day. “It’s just an awesome event. You meet pilots from all over the country and overseas, and some have never flown a floatplane,” Thompson said.
Folsom agrees. “The Fly-In was designed to bring people into town for one more weekend, and it’s worked really well. All we need is good weather,” Folsom said.
Thompson said that another factor in his decision to buy the FBO was to build a retirement business for himself. “I’m 53, and I’ve been practicing medicine for quite a while. So this is something I can look forward to. Plus, my family (wife and two daughters) are very supportive,” Thompson said.
Greenville Municipal Airport, located about two miles west of the town, covers an area of 241 acres and has two asphalt paved runways: 3,999 by 75 feet and 3,000 by 75 feet.
Maine’s Congressional delegation recently announced that the airport will receive a U.S. Department of Transportation grant of $94,500 to update the existing master plan to identify future needs at the facility.