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tower at hanscom field

About Hanscom Field

Learn more about our general aviation airport, our history and our role as a vital link in Massachusetts’ infrastructure.

view from air of Hanscom Field

Laurence G. Hanscom Field (BED) in Bedford, MA, is the region’s largest general aviation airport and a vital link in the transportation infrastructure of Massachusetts and New England. Located just 20 miles northwest of Boston, Hanscom Field is the popular choice for business executives who want easy access to Eastern Massachusetts. It is home to private and corporate aircraft of all sizes and offers limited commercial service.

A Historical Perspective

Hanscom Field has been a major part of local aviation since 1941, when the Commonwealth of Massachusetts acquired 500 acres of land in the towns of Bedford, Concord, Lexington, and Lincoln. By 1943 the airport was leased by the Army Air Corps and named Laurence G. Hanscom Field, in honor of the late Laurence G. Hanscom, a founding member and commander of the Massachusetts Wing of the Civilian Air Reserve. Military operations dominated Hanscom Field until it became a joint military and civilian facility in the 1950s.

By 1959, Massport assumed control of the state land, three years after the Massachusetts Legislature created the independent public authority. In 1974, general operations and maintenance of the airfield became the responsibility of Massport as military operations declined to occasional use. Hanscom Field has since been managed as a regional aviation facility whose major users are a mix of corporate aviation, private pilots, flight schools, commuter/commercial air services, charters and light cargo.