Agency to Host Site Visit, Remote ‘Consultation’ on Hanscom Proposal

February 1, 2023
“Existing Conditions Plan” from the Environmental Notification Form for L.G. Hanscom Field North Airfield Development, created by engineering firm VHB. The proposed development is outlined in red. Courtesy Image.

Two public meetings on the proposed massive development of hangar space at Hanscom Field have been scheduled for next Monday, Feb. 6.

A walk-through is planned for the site off Hartwell Road at 3 p.m., and an online “consultation session” for 6:30 p.m., both organized by the office of the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA).

An environmental notification form for almost 500,000 square feet of hangars, including almost 90,000 square feet in the adjacent Navy hangar, has been filed with MEPA, with the 20-day comment period ending on Feb. 14.

The so-called North Airfield development features 27 new hangars on 28 acres of Massport land, alongside the repurposed 63-year-old Navy hangar, which is privately owned. When completed, the project will increase the total hangar space at Hanscom Field by 50 percent.

Watchdog organizations are reacting to the announcement. “I just posted the site visit for an open meeting,” said Chris Eliot of Lincoln, chair of the Hanscom Field Advisory Commission. (HFAC). “I’m working on an action alert to our Save Our Heritage list,” said Kati Winchell, projects director.

The website of Concord-based Save Our Heritage said the “primary threat” to area historic landmarks is “the expansion and commercialization of the airport at Hanscom Field.”

Monday night, Chair Emily Mitchell told a meeting of the Bedford Select Board that she is preparing a response to be filed with MEPA before the deadline. It will be discussed and voted at the Feb. 13 Select Board meeting. Mitchell is Bedford’s HFAC representative.

The environmental notification form is available from Ken Schwartz at [email protected]. Comments may be submitted by email to [email protected]. The link to Monday’s MEPA consultation session is https://vhb.zoom.us/j/84330574548?pwd=eThiOXY3a05YQWRzcGphKzZ0aFpYZz09.  

According to this week’s notification of the public sessions, the project will “add 23.9 acres of impervious area; construct 175 new parking spaces for a total of 240 spaces, including existing spaces; generate 194 average daily vehicle trips, use 13,500 gallons per day of water, and generate 12,150 gallons per day of wastewater.”

Water and sewer connections will be with the Bedford systems. The new hangars are exempt from all local permitting.

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