Foes of Private Jets Resume Their Protest Thursday

July 19, 2023
The Stop Private Jet Expansion at Hanscom or Anywhere Group has planned “standouts” in Bedford and in other towns contiguous to Hanscom Field this summer in protest of the proposed hanger expansion. Courtesy Image.

Opponents of a proposal to build close to a half-million square feet of hangars on the Bedford side of Hanscom Field will gather again at Veterans Memorial Park on Thursday afternoon to share their sentiments with passing motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians.

The “standout” along The Great Road is planned from 3:30 to 5 p.m. The group also demonstrated last week and is expected to continue weekly. Similar protests are taking place in other towns contiguous to the airfield.

Resident Corinne Doud said the actions are organized by a partnership of three groups: Mothers Out Front, Bedford chapter; League of Women Voters of Bedford; and the local chapter of Third Act. They are all part of a coalition of more than 30 environmental and social action groups called Stop Private Jet Expansion at Hanscom or Anywhere. 

Their primary focus is on the deleterious impact of increased private jet traffic on the climate.

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The proposed expansion incorporates a renovation of the old Navy hangar off Hartwell Road with 27 new buildings for aircraft storage. 

“It is just incredible how big this is,” Doud said. “The more I learn about it, the more shocked and sickened I get.”

At the end of February, the secretary of the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs issued a requirement for the developers to draft an environmental impact statement. The scope is all-inclusive, ranging from noise, air emissions, and land alteration to water quality, wildlife habitat, and ground traffic. 

A consultant working with the developers said it would take at least six months to prepare their response.

Doud leads the Mothers Our Front, Bedford chapter’s campaign, and is on the steering committee of the coalition. 

“I am a long-time member of Bedford LWV and a new member of Bedford Third Act; both those groups are members of the coalition. I also chair the Environmental Justice Committee of First Parish in Bedford, also a member of the coalition,” she said.

Doud said the issue of increased greenhouse gases transcends local concerns. 

“It really is important to show solidarity across the state,” she said. “We want to stop it because it’s environmentally unsound, at Hanscom or anywhere. And the reason is the climate.”

She noted that Mothers Out Front has received support from chapters in East Boston and Winthrop. 

“We are trying to partner together. We want to build bridges with the Logan communities. We are trying to find ways to build bridges, for people to send the same message to the governor,” Doud said.

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