We All Have a Stake in Stopping Private Jet Expansion at Hanscom Airfield
The opinions expressed in this post are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect opinions or positions held by Indivisible Northampton-Swing Left Western MA.
Indivisibles representing multiple Massachusetts communities have joined a coalition of local and environmental groups to stop an expansion of Hanscom Field in Bedford that would greatly increase private jet traffic in the area. Members of the coalition – called Stop Private Jet Expansion at Hanscom or Anywhere – include progressives, environmentalists, local community members, and others who seek to prevent this environmental disaster-in- the-making before it gets off the ground. We all have a stake in this important effort.
Far More Pollution than Commercial Flights.
Hanscom Field is a publicly owned airfield in Bedford that hosts the greatest number of private jets in New England. The Massachusetts Port Authority wants to add 27 hangars, and could add up to 81 private jets to the airfield and triple Hanscom’s private jet capacity. Private jets pollute 10-20 times more per passenger than commercial planes.
About 200 coalition advocates recently joined MA Sen. Michael Barrett (who co-chairs the committee reviewing climate bills) in a rally against the airfield expansion on the steps of the State House. The activists then took their plea to Healey’s office, delivering a petition with over 10,000 signatures to her.
Advocates at the rally warned that expanding the airfield would undermine the state’s climate efforts, offsetting investments in renewable energy and cutting emissions.
Chuck Collins, co-author of a recent Institute for Policy Studies report on emissions from private jets, told the crowd: “You’ve got some of the most wealthy fliers in their private
jets going in and out of Hanscom… to places like Nantucket where there are other options to drive and take the ferry, or to New York, where… there are other transportation alternatives that are miniscule in their emissions.”
Sen. Mike Barrett (D-Lexington) said, “The immediate ask is that the Massport Board of directors just says no. No to the contracts. No to the proposal. No to the 27 hangars.”
Diane Proctor (from Concord Indivisible) read a statement from U.S. Sen. Edward Markey who opposes expanding the airfield.
Kalea Foo,a 5th grade student from Lexington, spoke about her concern that climate change is already happening here. “At the start of the school year we couldn’t go outside for recess because it was so hot, way hotter than what used to be normal,” she said “But some schools didn’t have air conditioning, so it was scorching inside their classrooms, and some schools even had to close… It’s not safe outside and it’s not safe inside. What do you want us to do? For our generation, this is way more scary.”
How You Can Help
- Sign the Petition, along with the 11,000+ people, telling Governor Healey to stop private jet expansion
- Send an email to Governor Healey and Climate Chief Melissa Hoffer saying that private jet expansion is something that we and our climate cannot afford
- Call Governor Healey to say that private jet expansion at Hanscom— or anywhere— is unacceptable and wrong
- Write a Letter to the Editor(Below are guidelines for submitting letters to some newspapers, but don’t feel restricted to just these publications!)
Boston Globe, Boston Herald, WBUR Cognoscenti, Bedford Citizen, Concord Bridge, Lincoln Squirrel, Lexington Observer
This is an example letter in the Globe. Private jets, public interest: Clash over bid to expand Hanscom space. Boston Globe, 10/7/2023, Various Authors. View in PDF form too.
- Email for your organization to join the coalition
- Donate Here: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/donate-spje/