P.O. Box 441
Concord, MA 01742


Information compiled by ShhAir – December 1, 1999

Aviation Data
  • Hanscom Field is the second busiest airport in New England
  • Logan  507,000 operations (1998)
  • Hanscom 197,302 (1999)
  • Bradley 175,000 (1999)
  • T.F. Green 162,000 (1999)
  • Burlington 115,000 (1999)
  • Manchester 114,000 (1999)
  • Worcester 55,000 (1999)
  • Total Operations (takeoffs and landings) in 1999 were up 7.7% (from 183,184 in 1998 to 197,302 in 1999)
  • Jet operations increased 40% in last two years, from 11,248 operations in 1997 to 15,749 operations in 1999. The first two months in 2000 saw a 12% increase over comparable months in 1999.
  • Night operations (from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.) increased 16.7% in 1999 (from 1390 to 1622)
  • Noise Complaints were up 136.5% in 1999 (from 1552 to 3670). Read the report of the noise workgroup here .
  • Total operations breakdown:
    -Touch-and-go operations (Flight schools) 37%
    -Single engine pistons 45% (Massport estimate)
    -Civilian jets 8 %
    -Twin engine piston and turboprop 5.4%
    -Helicopters 3.6
    -Military 1% 
  • History
  • In 1940, began as a small airport and used as a military airport during WWII. After war, became a general aviation airport (private planes, flight schools, charter operations, corporate jets, light cargo flights).
  • In 1974, Massport took over ownership and maintenance.
  • In 1978, Massport wrote the Hanscom Master Plan which said Hanscom was to remain a general aviation airport allowing commuter flights only in planes with fewer than 30 seats and 7500 lbs. payload. Since then, Massport has often publicly affirmed and assured area towns that they planned to abide by this Master Plan.
  • In 1990, Continental Airlines sought to begin commercial operations to Newark, NJ in 30-seat planes. Community opposition plus requirements of a full Environmental Impact Report caused Continental to withdraw.
  • In 1998, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Affairs weakened regulations eliminating "increases in aviation" as a condition that would trigger an environmental review.
  • From 1997 to 1998, jet aviation has increased 21% and in past 5 years, turbo prop flights increased 31%; night noise levels are up significantly.
  • In the summer of 1999, Massport granted a license to Shuttle America to begin flying in 50-seat turbo prop planes between Hanscom and Buffalo, NY and Trenton, NJ. To do so, Massport obtained a higher level ofcertification (Part 139) for Hanscom from the FAA.
  • Hanscom operations rose 7.5 % in 1999, from 183,000 operations a year to 197,000 operations. (An operation is a take-off or landing. For comparison, Logan handles 495,000 operations a year.) The number of jet operations has been up every year for the last five years, rising over 40% in the last two years alone. Night operations were up 16.7 % last year and noise complaints were up 134%.
  • Airport Size /
    Annual Flights
  • 500 acres with runways which can handle any sized plane made today.
  • Currently is New England’s second busiest airport after Logan Airport with 180,000 to 200,000 operations annually (take-offs and landings) – about 500 per day.
  • Shuttle America
  • 50-seat Bombadier Dash 8-300.
  • Flights go to LaGuardia Airport, NY, Buffalo, NY, Trenton, NJ, and Greensboro, NC.
  • Began operations at Hanscom with 8 flights (4 flights in and 4 flights out) on September 28, 1999.
  • Westchester, NY
  • In late 1980’s, said "yes" to commercial flights and now serves 1,000,000 passengers per year (almost 100 flights a day) on airlines like Northwest, Continental, and USAirways.
  • HATS Lawsuit

    Lawsuit alleges that when Massport granted a license to Shuttle America to operate commercial flights:

  • Massport did not follow the Hanscom Master Plan.
  • Massport violated due process by not consulting with HFAC (Hanscom Field Advisory Committee), which was established by the legislature to review issues like this.
  • Commercial flights will have a negative impact on the surrounding national parks, historical sites and will irreparably damage local natural wildlife refuge areas.
  • The judge did not grant our request for a temporary injunction to prevent Shuttle America from beginning flights, and we have subsequently decided to pursue other actions instead.
  • Affected Historic
    & Environmental
  • Minute Man National Park, Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, the Battle Road, Lexington Battle Green ("Shot heard around the world"), Concord’s North Bridge, Walden Pond, homes of Emerson, Hawthorne, Thoreau and the Alcotts.
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