History of Eastern Slope Regional Airport
The story of Eastern Slope Regional Airport actually starts with another: the White Mountain Airport. Constructed over old fairgrounds in North Conway, New Hampshire, the 3,000-foot runway hosted a flying club and became a tourist attraction with open-cockpit bi-planes and sight-seer aircraft providing scenic rides and charter flights. The small strip played an important role in search and rescue efforts, fire patrol, and medical emergencies.
A group of local businessmen expressed a desire for a regional airport to provide additional means to access the Mount Washington Valley region. Discussions were underway between the Maine and New Hampshire Departments of Transportation to construct a new airport to improve economic development and air access within the region. The Eastern Slope Airport Authority (ESAA), was formed to commence efforts towards developing a new public airport. Land was purchased in Fryeburg, Maine and developed into what is known today as Eastern Slope Regional Airport (IZG).
By the 1980s the area of North Conway had substantially changed, with many new commercial businesses moving to the area. This resulted in a significant overhaul of property taxes which made it impossible to make the airport a financial success. The owner sold the property to developers who established the Settlers’ Green Outlet Village on the site in 1988. Eastern Slope Regional Airport then took over the role of the primary airport serving the region, in the current location in Fryeburg, Maine.
The town of Fryeburg is the owner and official sponsor of IZG. Eastern Slopes Regional Airport is today an essential part of the transportation infrastructure in the Mount Washington Valley region which drives recreation, industry, business and commerce in both Western Maine and the Mount Washington Valley.