Letter: The high carbon cost of private air travel at Hanscom

February 16, 2023

Private jet travel is an incredibly carbon-intensive activity, and it constitutes a significant and growing portion of operations at Hanscom.

The Environmental Notification Form for the North Airfield Development claims that the 495,000 sqft of new hangar space will be “an innovative example of sustainable development.” When you consider the emissions generated by the aircraft that the 27 new hangars will accommodate, this claim becomes hard to support.

Magellan Jets is a private carrier that recently expanded its service at Hanscom. Flying one way from Hanscom to JFK on Magellan’s largest jet, the Gulfstream 450, creates 4.2 metric tons of carbon emissions. The same trip would emit only 0.084 metric tons if taken in a gas-powered car with a fuel economy of 22.2 mpg.

Magellan sells blocks of flight time to members in 25-hour increments. Even in Magellan’s smallest jet, one 25-hour block results in 44.6 metric tons of carbon emissions – equivalent to the emissions from heating and powering six American homes for an entire year.

So don’t let the electric vehicle chargers fool you – there is nothing “sustainable” about the expansion of private air travel at Hanscom.

Laura Davis

Garfield Road