Bedford Resident Voices Strong Opposition to Potential Hanscom Development

A Concord Road resident warned Tuesday that the Massachusetts Port Authority’s plans for a major development on the Bedford side of Hanscom Field is “incompatible” with residential neighborhoods.

“I believe it is inevitable that the quality of life and health of many Bedford residents will be threatened due to unavoidable increases in air and ground noise,” Jennifer Boles said in a prepared statement at a virtual meeting of the Hanscom Field Advisory Commission.

HFAC Chair Christopher Eliot of Lincoln acknowledged the “pretty strong statement against development” and invited reaction to Boles’s words but there was none.

On Aug. 31, Massport issued a request for proposals to build on up to 29 acres of the so-called North Airfield, accessible from Hartwell Road. Although the development was not defined as a fixed-based operator, the various uses outlined are consistent with such a facility.

Earlier at Tuesday’s meeting, Amber Goodspeed, manager of administration at Hanscom, acknowledged the RFP in her monthly projects report. She shared the electronic link for the document, but told commissioners that “I can’t make any more comments on the RFP itself” under the rules of Massport’s process.

The topic did not come up again except in a brief reference by Eliot during his summary of chapter four of Hanscom’s 2017 Environmental Status and Planning Report. The chapter covers “a planning context for potential improvement at the airport,” but does not delineate specific projects.

Boles referenced the “FBOs, T-hangars, corporate hangars, jet fuel and leaded avgas fueling stations, and storage fuel farms” concentrated at the southern end of Hanscom Field. “If they were ever to be replicated on the North Airfield,” she said, the outcome for residents would be “not inconvenient, not annoying.  Incompatible.  Unmitigable.”

She charged that “children living or playing in neighborhoods near the North Airfield will have increased exposure to leaded avgas exhaust fumes generated by all the prop planes that will be housed in a new T-hangar complex or refueling at a new FBO.”

Boles called for “all HFAC members, Bedford town officials, and Bedford residents of neighborhoods within a mile of the North Airfield” to choose a “fair-weather flying day” and “spend an hour or two on the parking lots at the Hanscom Field Air Terminal, any of the three FBOs, the T-hangar complexes, or the Boston MedFlight facility, and take note of what you see, what you hear, and what you smell.”

Mike Rosenberg can be reached at, or 781-983-1763

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