Friday, September 24, 1999
Four local towns sue Massport
The Hanscom Area Town Selectmen (HATS) and the four towns of Bedford, Concord, Lincoln and Lexington announced that they are filing suit against the state agency Massport for failing to follow its guidelines as set down in the Hanscom Field Master Plan and failing to follow prescribed community process in approving the commercial commuter airline Shuttle America for operation. According to a press release from the Concord Selectmen, Massport has repeatedly told HATS, the four towns and the statutorily-created Hanscom Field Advisory Committee (HFAC) that their hands were tied and that unless the airline were in violation they could not refuse to allow them to operate. However, the selectmen now say that Massport, as the landlord and overseer of Hanscom Field, has every right to refuse permission.
Announcement of the suit was made on September 14 by Arthur Fulman, Concord selectman and HATS member. In his announcement, he pointed out that, "Massport and Shuttle America have attempted to bully this large plane passenger service into our community without any regard for appropriate community review and community cooperation."
Peter Enrich, HATS representative from Lincoln, stated that the argument for having commercial operations at Hanscom would alleviate operations at Logan was not only incorrect but illustrated poor regional planning on Massport's part.
Representative Jay Kaufman of Lexington applauded the action of the four towns and the HATS selectmen on coming together and taking a stand against Massport. "Massport's decision to grant a license to Shuttle America despite the questions of its legally constituted community-based advisory committee amount to aviation without representation."
Hanscom Field can be accessed only by the two-lane road Route 2A which cuts through Minuteman National Park. Nancy Nelson, Superintendent of Minuteman National Park noted, "Route 2A is the route the Minutemen took. The road cannot be widened; it is National Park land and part of our heritage." Senator Pamela Resor questioned if Massport had given full thought as to the impact of the increase in traffic on the already highly congested roadways.
This article is based on a press release from the office of the Concord Selectmen.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito