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Communities environmental efforts negated by Hanscom jet expansion

Jan 31. 2023


The local communities are proud of their progress reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For example, the Town of Concord over 20 years installed 10MW of solar panels, avoiding 4,000 Tons per year of CO2e emissions. To bad all of this progress is cancelled out by the current and growing emissions due to Private Jet operations at Hanscom Field.

Hanscom Field Private Jet traffic emissions already contribute approximately 752,000  Tons per year of CO2e (see supporting calcuations). The airfield recently announced plans to build 27 more hangars, covering an area nearly 2/3 mile long in a paved area covering 70 football fields. This nearly triples the jet hangar capacity of the airfield.

Even if that tripling of capacity only adds 50% to the flight volume, that would contribute about 376,000 Tons per year, dwarfing and negating the ongoing carbon reduction plans of the surrounding communities. Eeven without this project, the jet operations are on track for  growth of 10% per year, corresponding to 75,000 tons per year emissions growth, while  the surrounding towns each plan to reduce by about 4,000 tons per year.   Therefore, even without this project, ongoing private luxury jet growth at Hanscom cancels the combined climate efforts of about 19 municipalities.     

This is why at a recent public hearing on the project, our State Senator Mike Barrett was adamant that this proposed expansion is totally against everything we are trying to do as a town, a state, and as a country to stop global warming.

In the Environmental Notification Form, the proponent of the project is required to answer certain prescribed questions. Incredibly, in answer to the question of whether the project "promotes decarbonization", answered "yes"

Under the law, the proponent of the project is required to file an Environmental Notification Form disclosing potential impacts. Incredibly, they are not required to disclose any of the huge impacts of the aircraft, but only required to disclose the relatively tiny emissions associated with their buildings and equipment. By adding tiny solar arrays and electric vehicle chargers, they can claim to have no net emissions.

Most citizens are unaware that taxpayers subsidize this destructive Private Jet activity. The airport pays no taxes. While you pay a sales tax on your Toyota, there is no sales tax on Private Jets. There is no tax on repairs or spare parts. Massport is mandated to provide airport capacity to whoever wants it, with no consideration for the environmental goals of our country.

Citizens who care about the envrionment and seek to reduce the carbon footprint caused by their towns are urged to learn more and become involved with their local governments.


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