Thursday, October 31, 2002
Letter: Hanscom plans presented Nov. 7
Massport has a plan for the future of civilian aviation at Hanscom Field. It is a future that can contain dramatic air traffic growth which will transform Hanscom Airport into a major commercial airport. Massport's scenarios include a huge increase (479 percent) in commercial passenger service and the introduction of scheduled cargo airline operations that typically operate at night. Substantial increases in jet operations will likely lead to night air traffic that will be significantly noisier and more frequent. Massport asserts, however, that this growth at Hanscom will result in relatively minor environmental effects!
What can you do about this? Come to the public hearing held by the state Executive Office of Environmental Affairs at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 7 at the Bedford Town Hall. This state agency must determine whether Massport has adequately assessed environmental impacts from the airport and whether its proposals adequately minimize or mitigate environmental damage from airport activities. This is the critical time to express your views on these important matters that will affect our community for decades to come.
Gary R. Clayton
Chairman, Concord Board of Selectmen
Thursday, October 31, 2002
Letter: Hanscom fight needs support
Airplane noise, traffic, and air quality will be significantly worse in
Concord if Massport's environmental report for Hanscom Airport is approved. The
report paves the way for noisy nighttime cargo service such as UPS and FedEx, an
increase in commercial passengers from 162,000 in 2000 up to 660,000 in 2015,
and a two-lane rotary (slightly smaller than the Route 2
rotary) at Meriam's Corner on Lexington Road to deal with increased traffic. A new rotary at the intersection of Old Bedford Road and Bedford Road is also planned.
Gettting a good night's sleep in Concord will be difficult with large, noisy cargo planes, which fly longer and lower over communities, flying overhead between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. The report also predicts a substantial growth in noisy jet operations. To handle the expected increase in operations, the Massport plan calls for three new access roads and three new rotaries. Essentially, Massport's goal is to transform Hanscom from a general aviation airport and reliever airport for Logan into a major commercial jetport.
Environmental studies show that living within six miles of a commercial airport poses a higher increase in health problems including cancer, asthma, heart disease, and infant mortality, to name a few. Also, noise from jet activity has been linked to high blood pressure as well as to learning problems in children.
If you are opposed to Hanscom expansion and Massport's desire to make a profit at the expense of altering the character of Concord and surrounding towns, please plan to attend the public meeting on Thursday, Nov. 7, at 7:30 p.m. at Bedford Town Hall. Members of Shhair and Save Our Heritage are working tirelessly to oppose Hanscom expansion, but they need the support of local residents to send a clear message to Massport and the governor's office that more noise, more pollution, and more traffic are unacceptable in Concord.
Thursday, October 31, 2002
Letter: A bigger Hanscom will affect all
As West Concord residents, we are very concerned about Massport's proposed expansion of Hanscom Field. We are equally concerned that Concordians living on our side of Route 2 seem to be generally unaware and unconcerned about how this expansion will affect them. You may have noticed more air traffic in recent months. But you haven't seen (or heard) anything yet. We would like to call your attention to the following points:
Jet travel in and out of Hanscom has tripled since 1996. According to Massport's estimates, the number of jets in 2015 will be six times greater than in 1996. Note here that Massport has consistently and historically underestimated the real figures.
The longer, east/west Lexington/Concord runway at Hanscom has been seeing greatly increased use. Numbers of corporate jets have destinations south of Hanscom. This means after getting aloft, they need to take a "left turn" to pick up the appropriate flight path. This path brings them directly over Concord Center, across Route 2 and over the western side of Concord. This pathway will become even more heavily traveled.
Under the proposed expansion plan, the area of "significant noise impact" will expand by 100 percent. Concord will be the most affected of the four Hanscom communities. And both Concord Center and West Concord are in the area which will be most significantly impacted.
Massport's proposed changes at Hanscom include more airplane hangars, more parking, and a "small hotel." Most significant are proposed changes which will permit (and encourage) cargo flights. Think FedEx, large and noisy planes, and vastly increased nighttime and early morning flights.
Massport acknowledges this expansion will cause increased automobile traffic. Think about the proposed "roundabout" (traffic rotary) at Meriam's Corner, bigger traffic jams on the Battle Road (Route 2A), et cetera.
If you are alarmed at the foregoing, it is vital that you attend the Massachusetts Environmental Protection Agency (MEPA) hearing on how Massport's projections will affect our environment. The hearing will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7 at Bedford Town Hall.
Please attend this hearing. A huge turnout is critical, so bring friends. Act now. Don't wait to be acted upon by Massport and the uncaring aviation interests of which Massport is the bureaucratic ally, patron and promoter.
William F. Kehoe
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