Letter: Hanscom project cancels out community climate efforts

March 23, 2023

Massport recently announced a project that would triple the private jet hangar capacity at Hanscom Field. There has been no consensus regarding what increase in luxury jet traffic will result, but at least a 50% increase can be expected.

In addition to the effects of noise, particulates and groundwater pollution, this increase in traffic over the existing 33,000 private jet operations per year will create huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, in the form of an additional 390,000 tons of CO2e yearly. (reference: www.saveourheritage.com/calculations.htm). The increase will cancel the climate benefits of approximately 1,000 megawatts of solar panels. Over the last decade, our town has reached only 11.2 megawatts of installed solar capacity. This one project, within our towns, looks to create 100 times the climate destruction that our solar efforts have saved.

Why should we accept this gigantic climate impact, overwhelming and negating our town climate efforts, when we all know we must be decreasing our emissions? The towns have not been made aware of any critical need that would justify such a massive impact. Services that will use these hangars offer a “sublime elite travel experience” for those able to afford a $7,000 per hour luxury jet trip. According to the Wall Street Journal, even jets owned by businesses frequently travel to vacation destinations. Are we to throw away any hope of climate progress for this?

State Sen. Mike Barrett proclaimed at a public hearing that this project is against the stated goals of our towns, our state, and our country. Our new governor has made bold claims regarding commitment to climate. Let’s hold her accountable.

Neil Rasmussen

Estabrook Road