Richard Walsh, Massport
Nancy Nelson, MMNHP
Hanscom Field and Minute Man National Historical Park Make History
Voluntary Procedures Intended to Minimize Aircraft Traffic Over Historic Sites
Bedford, MA – The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) today joined the Minute Man National Historical Park (MMNHP) to announce the adoption of voluntary touch-&-go procedures at L.G. Hanscom Field (BED) in Bedford, MA. The voluntary procedures are intended to minimize aircraft traffic over areas in the National Park with a focus on keeping the flights over the airport when possible.
The Minute Man National Historical Park is located adjacent to BED and commemorates the opening battles of the American Revolution by highlighting the historic Battle Road Trail between Lexington and Concord. Both historic and modernized sections of the Battle Road mark the path of running skirmishes between British troops and Colonial militia. It includes a monument where Paul Revere was captured during his midnight ride and the Hartwell Tavern, a restored 18th-century inn and house where living history programs are presented.
"The Minute Man National Historical Park and Massport are stewards of valuable public resources," said Massport CEO and Executive Director Thomas J. Kinton, Jr. "We believe it is important to maintain a sustainable balance between the economy, the environment and our cultural history and that this balance can be achieved by working together. This understanding has led to a renewed effort to minimize the impact of aircraft noise on the National Park experience."
Touch-&-go operations have at times been disruptive during outdoor programs. The Battle Road Trail extends several miles parallel to Runway 11/29 just south of the airport, and Massport, working closely with the FAA control tower at BED and flight schools, has identified voluntary procedures to minimize touch-&-go traffic over pivotal areas in the National Park.
"This initiative represents a significant step toward ensuring that visitors to the Battle Road Unit of the park will have an appropriate and inspirational experience. We would like to thank our Congressional delegation for supporting this opportunity, Mr. Kinton and Massport for leading the effort, and the pilots who can ensure its success," said Minute Man National Historical Park Superintendent, Nancy Nelson. She added that the National Park Service looks forward to working in partnership with Massport and others in the months and years ahead to establish long range protections for other historic sites in the park and neighboring communities.
Using a new multilateration noise monitoring system, Massport analyzed flight tracks and determined that touch-&-go activity generated the highest concentration of aircraft activity over the Park. The Park identified key locations for outdoor programs, and meetings with the FAA and flight schools led to recommended touch-&-go procedures for all four runway headings.
Touch-&-go traffic that is using Runway 11/29, which represents almost 80% of the touch & go activity, is asked to stay within ½ nautical mile of the runway when travelling south of the airport. Key visual landmarks are identified to help the pilot stay north of the National Park and over the airfield. Touch-&-go traffic that is using Runway 05/23 can’t avoid flying over the Park, but it is recommended that the Runway 23 crosswind turn and the Runway 05 base turn be conducted south of the Park, over the Route 2 area.
"The Hanscom pilot community welcomed the opportunity to work with Massport, the National Park, the FAA and community leaders to identify voluntary procedures to benefit the visitor experience," said AOPA support network volunteer representative Bradford von Weise. "The Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association values collaborative efforts such as these that allow for creative solutions and constructive dialogue."
Hanscom Field is home to the largest concentration of based aircraft in New England, including 261 single engine aircraft, 38 multi-engine aircraft and 77 jet aircraft. Located in Bedford MA., Hanscom Field is a vital link to domestic and international destinations. With its modern facilities, Hanscom is New England’s premier full-service corporate and general aviation airport, contributing more than $180 million to the regional economy each year. For more information on Hanscom Field’s voluntary quiet flying procedures visit www.hanscomfield.com.
The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) operates Boston Logan International Airport, the Port of Boston, Hanscom Field and Worcester Regional Airport. Massport is a financially self-sustaining public authority whose premier transportation facilities generate more than $8 billion annually, and enhance and enable economic growth and vitality in New England. For more information please visit massport.com.