Frozen Lake has become an airstrip: this is not possible every winter, but this season it will be cold enough to land planes on Lake Winnipeg in New Hampshire.
Paul Larochel, the airport’s manager, explains that the runway can only be opened when it is about 800 meters long and the snow is at least 30 centimeters thick – the only ice airport approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
“If we do not have 30 cm of snow we will not drive our trucks so far. If we have 22 cm there, 30 cm there, 25 cm elsewhere we will not open. Not until there is the same thickness everywhere,” said Larochel, to measure the thickness of the snow. Goes out every day.
This weekend, the thickness reached 50cm, and the airport, which opened a week earlier with New Hampshire Department of Transportation staff, saw several planes land.
Not without difficulties.
“The snow is slippery. Many pilots say so, ”said Carol Nivola, Runaway Operations Manager.
“Turning and stopping can be difficult stunts, although they are very easy to do on paved tracks or on grass, but here on the ice, it’s very different.”
“There’s a small layer of ice on top of the ice, which gives it a little grip, but it’s not great,” she said.