The new aviation facilities planned for Hanscom Field near Hartwell Road will not include fueling operations, a Massachusetts Port Authority official told the Hanscom Field Advisory Commission Tuesday.
Amber Goodspeed, Hanscom’s manager of airport administration, explained that the facilities will not be designated as a fixed-based operator (FBO) because it will serve only tenants of the new hangars and not “transient” aircraft. The project “addresses [Hanscom’s] need for more corporate hangar space.”
“Ground support,” including fueling of airplanes in the new hangars, will be handled by Signature Flight Support, an FBO on the opposite side of the airfield, she noted.
The Massport Board last week awarded the contract for construction of the facilities—the first major Massport development on the Hartwell Road airport side—to North Airfield Ventures, a recently-organized limited liability company.
Michael Argiros, one of the principals of North Airfield Ventures, said Wednesday that the final size of the facility will depend on the market for hangar space.
Argiros didn’t want to say much about the project because “we still have not reached out to anybody in town government. This is something very new to us.” He did say that some kind of buffer from surrounding neighborhoods will be an important part of any plan.
Goodspeed told the commission Tuesday that construction isn’t likely to begin for at least two years because of negotiations between the successful bidder and Massport on business terms, followed by “an extensive permitting process,” which is expected to take 18 to 24 months and include a period for “public engagement.”
“You will all have the opportunity to review aircraft and road traffic and air quality impact,” she said. Massport projects are exempt from local permitting except in the area of wetlands protection.
Goodspeed presented a few slides, including a conceptual design of the new facilities as seen from the street.
The 29-acre site is entirely within Bedford’s boundaries. The town’s representative to the commission, Select Board member Emily Mitchell, asked how much additional impervious surface will result from the development. “I see some natural buffer but it does look like large areas of asphalt and pavement, she said. Goodspeed replied that this “certainly will be addressed.”
North Airfield Ventures has two principals on record: Argiros and Jeffrey Leerink. Bedford resident Jennifer Boles pointed out at the meeting that “neither one of those has had any prior experience developing airports and or aviation facilities. Is that unusual?”
Michael Vatalaro, Massport state and community relations manager, replied, “They came to us with the best proposal. I believe they have some aviation representation in their group.’
Corrections: 06.23.2022: Jennifer Boles’s name was misspelled as Bowles, but has been corrected. North Airfield Ventures is the correct name of the developer. The Citizen regrets its errors.
Mike Rosenberg can be reached at email@example.com, or 781-983-1763