||Save Our Heritage|
Protecting the Birthplace of the American Revolution,
the cradle of the Environmental Movement,
and the Home of the American Literary Renaissance
A citizen plea and key issues regarding the crosspoint plan
the following letter was sent to varioius newspapers and Save Our Heritage on November 1, 2005
I am writing to explain why the Crosspoint project at Hanscom Field is so dangerous and to urge citizens to actively oppose it before itís too late.
At the outset, itís essential to understand that Massport, not the Air Force, owns Hanscom Field. The mission of Hanscom Air Force Base is research, not flying; no military planes are stationed here, and military flights constitute less than 1% of airport operations. The recent decision not to enlarge the Air Force base has absolutely nothing to do with Hanscom Field, which Massport is aggressively expanding into a mega corporate jetport.
Crosspoint is a big new step in Massportís expansion campaign. It would be Hanscomís third Fixed Base Operator (FBO) Ė a hangar/passenger terminal/fuel depot/maintenance facility. With a total size of 91,000 square feet and a 100-car parking lot, it would be bigger than either of the existing FBOs, and its passenger area (13,000 square feet) would be larger than that of the existing FBOs and the Civil Air Terminal combined.
To understand how Crosspoint will affect us, you have to know two crucial facts: 80% of Hanscomís noise impact comes from jets, and Crosspoint will increase Hanscomís jet-handling capacity by over 50%. Jet flights over our communities have more than tripled in the past decade, from 9,600 in 1995 to over 33,000 last year. With the added capacity provided by Crosspoint, jet traffic could easily triple again over the next 12 to 15 years. If you think your neighborhood is safe, think again Ė many who are affected by jet noise today had the same misguided sense of security just a few years ago. Imagine the impact of 100,000 jet flights annually over our homes, fields and town centers, our childrenís schools, and our (and Americaís) unique places like Walden and Minute Man Park!
Furthermore, the proposal includes a 30,000-gallon aboveground jet fuel tank next to Runway 5ís safety zone. The risk of a catastrophic fire caused by a plane crashing into the tank seems obvious. So does the danger to 19 homes literally across the street from the fuel depot on Concordís Virginia Road, and to adjacent residential neighborhoods in Concord and Lincoln. Fire trucks would have difficulty reaching the scene quickly on Virginia Road, a narrow, wetland-bordered street with two 90-degree curves and no shoulders. And Virginia Road would become a truck route for Crosspointís multiple daily jet fuel deliveries.
Finally, the Crosspoint facility would be built on land that is part of Bedfordís drinking water supply. The town well it serves is currently closed due to past contamination, but itís being cleaned up and remains an important future drinking water source for Bedford. To risk massive new contamination by building a fueling station over an aquifer makes no sense.
In short, this project would radically increase noise, traffic and air pollution, threaten drinking water, and create a fire hazard that would endanger dozens of homes and hundreds of lives. And all of this with no state environmental review or public comments allowed, and with Massport hiding the true nature of the project until after it accepted Crosspointís proposal.
We, the residents of the four towns, must take a stand against this outrageous plan. Recent medical research shows health hazards for anyone living within 6 miles of an airport, so the additional pollution from this project will affect all of us. Itís easy to think that our help is not needed because the boards of selectmen are on top of the situation. Wrong! We need to show up at their meetings, show that we care about this issue, urge them to do everything in their power to stop Crosspoint, and applaud them when they do. We need to keep sending letters to the newspapers, to state and federal legislators, and to Governor Romney. Massport is ready to sign the lease with Crosspoint next month so itís urgent to let officials know how we feel.
And we need to support ShhAir and Save Our Heritage as they organize the opposition. Learn more at www.shhair.org and www.saveourheritage.com. They offer to inform you by e-mail of meetings, rallies, letter-writing campaigns, etc. The more people get involved, the more effective our opposition will be.
60 Quail Run Drive