Boston based CARE (Citizens Against Runway Expansion) has announced that it is joining forces with the Concord community group Save Our Heritage to advocate for a multi-state regional air transportation plan, and a moratorium on runway expansion at Logan and Hanscom.

SAND (a member of CARE) has opposed runway expansion at Logan Airport, due to the exponential impacts of air traffic on surrounding communities. With construction of Runway 14/32, Massport projects a tripling of capacity of flights off of Runway 27 -- raising the number of departures immediately over the South Boston Waterfront (on to Andrews Square, the South End, Dorchester, and beyond) to over 45,000 flights per year.

Massport and business groups have promoted the runway as a "Delay Reduction" and "Departure over the Harbor" project. Neither groups have presented information contained in Massport's own project filing -- that Runway 14/32 would handle demands of lighter aircraft, allowing larger runways #22 and #27 to increase in capacity.

To read SAND comments to the Environmental Office regarding airport expansion, click here.
To visit the CARE website, click here.

This story ran on page E5 of the Boston Globe on 6/27/2000.
© Copyright 2000 Globe Newspaper Company.

Two groups unite to fight airport projects

By Matthew Brelis, Globe Staff, 6/27/2000

Overcoming mutual distrust, parochial interests, and class differences, two enemies of the Massachusetts Port Authority have joined forces to try to defeat expansion efforts at Logan International Airport in Boston and Hanscom Airport in suburban Bedford.

Communities Against Runway Expansion, a coalition of groups from 30 communities around Boston that are fighting the proposed 5,000-foot commuter runway at Logan, and Save Our Heritage, a Concord group that is fighting efforts to expand fledgling commercial airline service from Hanscom, will formally announce their alliance today at a press conference at the State House.

The two groups, which have often been at odds with each other, began talking in October about what they had in common. Over the following eight months, they agreed that united they stand a better chance of preventing Massport, which owns and operates both Logan and Hanscom, from expanding further.

The groups are expected to call for a moratorium on expanding Logan's runway and taxiway system as well as on expanding commercial service at Hanscom to and from LaGuardia Airport in New York City.

Both Shuttle America, which currently flies from Hanscom, and US Airways Express have received approval from the US Department of Transportation to land at LaGuardia. The Federal Aviation Administration is still reviewing the applications.

Anna Winter, executive director of Save Our Heritage, said that Massport has been playing one group against another. ''This divide and conquer does no one any good and does not help the state'' develop a sensible regional transportation plan, she said.

Massport's spokesman, Jose Juves, said the agency has never tried to pit one community against another.

''For the last five years,'' he said, ''Massport has been hearing from local politicians, the FAA, and environmentalists that it needs to do more to regionalize air traffic. It is one thing people in this state have been almost unanimous on. To Massport's credit, Massport has been listening.

''It is not surprising that two NIMBY [not-in-my-back-yard] groups are getting together, but the whole point of regionalization is to relieve the burden on Logan and its neighbors, while giving customers more choices closer to their homes.''

Any increase in service at Hanscom would result in minimal disruption to the airport's neighbors, Juves said.

''They invited 200,000 people for a weekend to witness a reenactment of a historic battle, and they are trying to complain that Shuttle America might, I repeat might, have 100,000 passengers all year long.

''The reality is Hanscom has a limited but important role to play and will continue to have a minor traffic impact on the region when compared to things like Minuteman National Historical Park and office development.''

If the alliance can hold together, it would be a highly unusual event in the nationwide fight over airport expansion projects.

In areas such as Massachusetts and Southern California, where there are several airports with expansion projects in the pipeline, a unified opposition is as elusive as an uncrowded airport terminal.

US Representative Michael Capuano, who opposes Logan's expansion plan, recently urged the FAA to approve expanded service from Hanscom. Yesterday, The Democrat from Somerville said the alliance was a good thing.

''It must be difficult for both groups,'' he said, ''but my presumption is they both understand they are better making that leap of faith than standing alone.

''Together, they have a chance. Alone they will not succeed.''

This story ran on page E5 of the Boston Globe on 6/27/2000.

© Copyright 2000 Globe Newspaper Company.

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