~ Submitted by Jennifer Boles
I’ve known since my first visit to the Civil Terminal to attend an HFAC [Hanscom Field Advisory Commission] meeting back in 2017, that the busy aviation hangar complexes I saw on that side of the airfield (FBOs, T-hangars, corporate hangars, jet fuel and leaded avgas fueling stations, and storage fuel farms)would be incompatible with Bedford’s residential neighborhoods, if they were ever to be replicated on the North Airfield. Not inconvenient, not annoying. Incompatible. Unmitigable.
If Massport’s plan to intensively develop the North Airfield is successful … I believe:
- It is inevitable that the quality of life and health of many Bedford residents will be threatened due to an unavoidable increase in aviation air and ground noise
- Their families will suffer increased exposure to poor air quality from jet fuel and avgas exhaust fumes
- And worse … Bedford 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 on the North Airfield.
During the more than 20 years since the Navy declared the only hangar on the North Airfield was no longer needed, and left it to rust into oblivion, new families have moved to Bedford, new homes and even new neighborhoods have been built along Hartwell Road. Many of those residents have never experienced the aviation noise and jet fuel and avgas exhaust fumes that are inevitably associated with a busy aviation hangar complex or an FBO.
Before I go silent on these matters, I strongly urge all HFAC members, Bedford town officials, and Bedford residents of neighborhoods within a mile of the North Airfield … to do their homework … which is simple … on a good fair-weather flying day, just drive to the airfield 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 … or all of the above … and take note of what you see, what you hear, and what you smell. And then see if YOU think that is compatible next to any residential neighborhood … anywhere.