After decades of little modernization, the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) is investing $1.4 million into Hanscom Field to provide tenants and users with basic amenities at the small airport facility in Bedford.
Inside the former Air Force office building which functions as a terminal and business space, Massport will modernize the heating and air conditioning units to provide energy savings and greater comfort, replace single pane glass with double pane to conserve energy costs, bring the restroom facilities up to code and make them handicap accessible, and provide and consolidate much-needed seating in the waiting area. The $800,000 update will allow the building to meet today's tenant needs and standards.
The building currently housing the terminal and business offices was built in 1953 to serve as military office space and hasn't seen any major renovations for more than 15 years. The planned project will not expand the dimensions of the building.
Another $600,000 will be allocated to repave the parking lot. Currently, the parking lot is in poor condition with numerous potholes and cracks throughout its surface. The resurfacing project is expected to start in Spring 2001 and take three to four months to complete.
Over the next five years, Hanscom Field also will benefit from more than $30 million in private investment to support general aviation and corporate flight activity.
Hanscom Field continues to be New England's premier general aviation airport, handling almost 200,000 corporate and private aircraft operations a year. Over the past 20 years seven airlines have flown commercially from Hanscom Field providing limited service to several markets. In 1999, commercial air traffic returned to Hanscom with Shuttle America's eleven round-trip flights to Trenton, NJ; Buffalo, NY; and Greensboro, NC. This service has proven to be extremely popular, serving more than 80,000 people this year alone. Hanscom Field's function in New England's regional transportation system is to handle general aviation and corporate flights while offering limited commercial service as covered by Massport's Master Plan and 1980 Noise Regulations.
The Cellucci-Swift Administration has taken the lead in regionalizing air traffic throughout New England to equitably spread the burden and the benefits of commercial aviation. On January 15, 2000 Massport, at the direction of Governor Paul Cellucci, took over Worcester Regional Airport and has succeeded in bringing two major airlines to the underutilized facility. For the first time in ten years, three airlines are operating from Worcester providing direct service to Philadelphia, New York City, and Atlanta. Massport has committed more than $1 million this year to revitalizing the Central Massachusetts airport and MassHighway is moving forward with options to improve access to the airport.
In addition, Massport is conducting an innovative ad campaign to promote regional airports throughout New England, including Manchester Airport in Manchester, NH and T.F. Green Airport in Providence, RI. Massport officials continue to work with the aviation directors of T.F. Green Airport, Manchester Airport, Bradley Airport, and Pease International Tradeport to develop a comprehensive transportation strategy for the region that includes a unified marketing effort and joint trade show appearances.