Paul Bradbury, then the facilities engineering manager at the Portland Jetport, was in a staff meeting the morning the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. When the second plane hit, everyone in aviation knew it was some form of terrorism, Bradbury said.In the days that followed, details emerged. The world learned that Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz al-Omari came to Portland, stayed at the Comfort Inn in South Portland, bought gas at a local Exxon, took some cash out of ATMs, stopped at Walmart and dined at a Pizza Hut.
Then they left their rental car at the Jetport parking lot and boarded a US Airways Express flight into Logan Airport in Boston, where they boarded the plane they would turn into a weapon.
They exploited a weakness in American society, the common wisdom that people should comply during a hijacking, mugging or robbery.
U.S. aviation essentially was shut down for about two weeks. When flights resumed, things were changed in Portland and across the country.
“When we reopened, we’d taken this huge mental and psychological hit, so part of the recovery was psychological, too. We had National Guard at the airports with machine guns,” said Bradbury.
Click for the rest of the story by Matt Wickenheiser in the Bangor Daily News.
PORTLAND — Drivers who use a new parking lot at the Portland International Jetport won’t notice, but their vehicles will be atop more than 11 miles of plastic tubing.
If they could slice open the earth, they would see 120 loops extending 500 feet into bedrock. And if they could peer through the tubing, they would see fluid circulating at 500 gallons a minute.
Drill rigs will run every day for the next month to turn the land under the new parking lot into a giant heat exchanger. The fluid will absorb some of the earth’s stored heat in winter and help warm a new addition at the jetport. The process will be reversed in summer, with heat being dumped into the cooler earth.
When the jetport’s $75 million expansion opens in 2012, it will be heated and cooled by Maine’s largest geothermal system. The system is expected to cut the amount of oil that would otherwise be used for the new terminal by 90 percent — nearly 102,000 gallons a year.
Click for the rest of the story by Tux Turkel in the Portland Press Herald.
Posted in Economy, Energy, Environment, Politics and government
Tagged cooling, Energy, geothermal system, giant heat exchanger, heating, National Geothermal, Portland, Portland International Jetport
Here’s a link to a Portland Press Herald story about how travellers made out upon returning from holiday travel amid stepped up security.
Jetport handles flood of calls, but no problems | Portland Press Herald.
One thing to remember in the post-Sept. 11, 2001, world is that a couple of the terrorists that day started out their day flying from the Portland International Jetport. Here is a link from a SFGate.com story on the pair.