Friday, October 20, 2000
Legislators urge FAA, NY Port Authority review of Hanscom use
In an effort initiated by Senator Susan Fargo, area legislators have called upon the Federal Aviation Administration and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to further review Shuttle America's request to operate flights to New York's LaGuardia Airport. Senators Fargo, Pamela Resor and Robert A. Havern, III, along with Representatives Jay Kaufmann, Cory Atkins and Charles A. Murphy, have written both agencies in the interest of historical preservation.
Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act requires Federal agencies to take into account the effects of their undertakings on historic properties. In consideration of this act, the legislators have strongly expressed to the FAA and Port Authority the need for careful review before expanding commercial activity at Hanscom Field.
The legislators' letter to the Port Authority states, "Increased commercial air traffic will likely impact over 1,000 national historic register landmarks located within three runway lengths of the airport. Additionally, the four towns abutting Hanscom Field are engaged in civil litigation with Massport because Massport changed the status of the air field to allow commercial air traffic [at Shuttle America's request] without first consulting with the Hanscom Field Advisory as required by Massachusetts law.
"We commend you for banning additional peak-hour flights until a solution for the delays can be found. We believe that the best solution for the delays at LaGuardia and in Massachusetts is a development of a comprehensive interstate, inter-modal regional transportation plan that properly balances the transportation needs of the region with all of the available resources. In addition to properly balancing the capacity of the regional airports, the transportation plan should also focus on the Acela high-speed rail system, which will provide a better transportation alternative for New England to New York travel and which is scheduled to begin this month."
A decision from the FAA, expected on October 15, has been delayed, according to a spokesperson in Fargo's office. Shuttle America has stated that if the LaGuardia destination is denied, they will proceed with the five additional daily flights to another one of their current destinations, for which no approval is necessary.
© 2000 The Carlisle Mosquito