HFAC Continues its Consideration of Leaded Avgas

Hanscom Field Advisory Commission Chair Christopher Eliot asked during the March 16 HFAC meeting if Massport would be willing to test at least one soil sample near the end of each runway and around engine run-up areas to measure lead levels, since those sites are where research at other airports shows highest soil lead concentrations tend to occur.

Massport Seeks Meeting with FAA to Address HFAC Concern over Air Noise Issues

The Massachusetts Port Authority says it is sympathetic to local residents’ complaints about aircraft noise, and it is trying to schedule a meeting with Federal Aviation Administration officials to prove it.

“We are in the process of organizing a meeting with the FAA … to discuss your noise issues,” Massport spokesman Mike Vatalaro told members of the Hanscom Field Advisory Commission (HFAC) on March 16.  “So it’s not like these noise complaints don’t go unheard.  You have very friendly Massport advocates here to try to help you out.”

An alliance would be significant, since Massport claims the federal agency alone has the authority to regulate aircraft noise.

HFAC Member Margaret Coppe to Investigate Cost of Testing for Lead Contamination in Soil near Airfield

A member of the Hanscom Field Advisory Commission is investigating the details of a soil lead level testing service offered by the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

Margaret Coppe of Lexington said at the panel’s Feb. 16 meeting that the lab “offers a total sorbed metals test that measures total lead and other heavy metals… for $55 per test.  They recommend taking 12 samples from the area to be tested at various depths.”

She mentioned that a next step might be to discuss specifics with UMass Amherst on how an initial sampling survey might be carried out:  “Is it a whole neighborhood?  Would you lay out a quadrant of some sort and take samples so many feet apart?”

Short Takes from the December 2020 Hanscom Field Advisory Commission Meeting

Aircraft operations at Hanscom Field are leveling off after a partial recovery from pandemic-driven declines last spring. However, the November total is still almost 8 percent below the same month in 2019.

Members of the Hanscom Field Advisory Commission reviewed the data with Massport officials at their December 15th virtual meeting.

Hanscom Field’s Daytime Noise Complaints – Who Sees Them?

It started with a simple question by a resident during the October 20th virtual Hanscom Field Advisory Commission meeting with Massport: who does Massport share air noise complaints with?

The surprising answer:  almost no one.

Local Flight Schools Unaware of Daytime Noise Complaints Received by Massport from Surrounding Communities:  HFAC Requests Feedback Loop with Pilots be Closed

The Massport Administrative Manager for Hanscom Field, Amber Goodspeed, explained that aircraft pilots and owners are only informed about noise complaints generated by their aircraft, if their flights take place between 11 pm and 7 am.

Flight School Touch and Go Practice Session Draws Attention

Patricia Dahlgren of South Road has been a close neighbor of Hanscom Field for more than 25 years. “We know our airport.  We know the rhythms.  It’s part of our daily life rhythm,” she told members of the Hanscom Field Advisory Commission (HFAC) at its virtual meeting on August 19.

But the recent repeated figure-eight flights for an hour-and-a-half over South Road, Concord Road, and the center of town on Sunday, August 16 was cacophonous.

Hanscom Field Advisory Commission ~ Short Takes for February 2020

The Hanscom Field Advisory Commission (HFAC) met February 18 to discuss airfield matters of concern, hear Massport updates on monthly flight operations, and review the air noise report.

Topics of special note included HFAC’s farewell to Mike Rosenberg, longtime member and former Chair of the Commission; discussion of repetitive prop plane flights over Bedford’s South Road neighborhood; large jets flying at low altitude over Bedford’s Meadowbrook neighborhood; HFAC’s letter to MassDOT Aeronautics Division regarding agency jurisdiction for local flight school activities over the Ayer and Groton; and Massport’s plan to move ahead on its new T-hangar complex to be built off Hartwell Road in Bedford.