Bedford's Hanscom Field (BED) handled 218,248 takeoffs and landings in 2002, marking a 6.2 percent increase over activity in 2001. While many of those takeoffs and landings were "touch-and-go" operations performed by flight school students, the popularity of business jet travel drove the increase at Bedford airport. From 2001, business jet flights increased 35 percent at Hanscom Field, providing essential corporate air service to the Boston area. In 2002, the airport handled 30,797 business jet operations compared to 22,839 in 2001, alleviating the volume of small jet activity at Logan International Airport (BOS).
As a vital facility in New England's regional transportation system, the Bedford airport also offers commercial service with Shuttle America and Boston-Maine Airlines. These two airlines carried 67,688 passengers in 2002 as compared to 134,337 passengers in 2001.
While flight activity has increased at Hanscom Field, the airport continues to have minimal impacts on the environment and surrounding communities. The most recent environmental report indicated that the Bedford airport contributed only 3 to 4-percent of the traffic on Route 2A during the afternoon rush hour and that aircraft noise impacts, as defined by FAA land-use guidelines, remain almost entirely within the airport's boundaries.