HFAC and HATS ~ April Meeting Updates

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By John Laferriere

The Hanscom Field Advisory Committee and the Hanscom Area Towns Committee each met during the last full week of April.

HFAC – Hanscom Field Advisory Committee

The Hanscom Field Advisory Commission met on April 24 at the Civil Air Terminal and included presentations on two major items.

Due to plans for the development of up to 225,000 square feet of new hangar facilities at the North Airfield and Pine Hill areas of Hanscom to accommodate the growing needs of business aviation, a revised airport layout plan (ALP) must be submitted by Massport to the FAA.

That submission then triggers a NEPA review, which for a project of this scope requires preparation of a formal Environmental Assessment (EA) report.  The draft EA report (link provided below) was reviewed at the HFAC meeting by Stewart Dalzell, Massport’s Deputy Director, Environmental Planning and Permitting, and Michael Gove, Massport Program Manager, Environmental Programming.  Also participating in the presentation was Richard Doucette, Environmental Program Manager for FAA.
Following the review of the draft EA, questions were posed by Mike Rosenberg, Bedford Selectman, as well as a number of interested Bedford residents.  The questions related to

  • the timing of the awarding of the contract to develop the North Airfield area
  • whether construction traffic can be managed better than during last year’s runway repaving project
  • the reason for the increased demand for corporate jet hangar space
  • the size and number of aircraft that are likely to be housed at the North Airfield hangar area
  • the potential risks of aviation fuel shipment and storage
  • fuel spill response capabilities, and
  • what group has ultimate responsibility and liability for any environmental contamination incidents (Massport)

There is a 30-day comment period for the draft EA, ending on May 21.  Comments and questions should be submitted to Michael Gove at mgove@massport.com, sdalzell@massport.com, and Richard.doucette@faa.com.

The second special presentation was the annual State of Hanscom report, presented by Sharon Williams, Director, L. G. Hanscom Field.

This report contains background information on Hanscom Field, a comparison of aircraft activity from 2016 to 2017, financial results for FY 2014-2017, a summary of economic benefits of Hanscom activity (including 1745 full-time equivalent jobs and total economic benefits of $348 million, according to a 2014 economic impact study), and a description of 2017 accomplishments and 2018 objectives.

Accomplishments and objectives fell into the following categories: airfield maintenance and improvements, safety and security, facility maintenance and improvement, environmental programs and audits, community outreach, and capital projects for FY 2018-2022.

An area where Massport is seeking input and interest from local organizations is the area of charitable contributions from Massport.  These could take the form of scholarships, summer internships and community summer jobs programs.  Interested parties are encouraged to contact Amber Goodspeed (agoodspeed@massport.com) or Sharon Williams (swilliams@massport.com).  A link to this report is provided below.

Next on the agenda were the March noise report and third-party development report.  Included in the latter was a short update on the North Airfield development project.  The deadline for submission of proposals by developers is May 4 for North Airfield, and May 11 for the Pine Hill area.

Regarding the old Navy Hangar, Massport has declined to purchase the property.  The GSA will proceed with a public sale via auction.  Any purchaser would be required to restore the property at significant expense due to historical covenant requirements placed on the deed by the Navy.

Finally, the permanent Airfield Rescue and Firefighting Facility and the Customs and Border Patrol Facility construction projects will be reviewed at the May HFAC meeting.

Links of interest:

HATS – Hanscom Area Towns Committee

The Hanscom Area Towns Committee met on April 26, at the Lincoln Town Hall.  The featured presenter was Dr. Thomas Glynn, CEO of the Massachusetts Port Authority, who spoke at length on all of Massport’s operations, including Logan, Worcester and Hanscom airports, as well as maritime operations such as the cruise ship terminal.

The presentation was informative although details and comments related to Hanscom operations were somewhat thin.  Dr. Glynn stated that Hanscom continues to fulfill its role well, leadership is strong, and there are no significant changes in its mission or goals.  Business customers are well served, Boston MedFlight will be opening its new facility later this year, and Rectrix is a success story as well.

Other Hanscom-related information included the announcement by Jessica Casserly that a new commander will be coming to Hanscom AFB during the summer.

The next HATS meeting will be on May 24, in Lexington.  See the following link for further information. https://www.hanscomareatownscommittee.com/


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