Starting in August, residents who live near Hanscom Field may notice more noise than usual as air traffic is temporarily rerouted during two separate runway reconstruction projects. However, another unrelated project—construction of a new hangar for Boston MedFlight—will not result in any increase in noise or air traffic in the area
Logan Airport is now resurfacing its most heavily used runway, meaning it will be closed entirely until late June and open for arrivals only until about November 1. What this means for the Lincoln/Bedford area is that some smaller business-type flights will use Hanscom instead of Logan, according to Amber Goodspeed, MassPort’s manager for airport administration at Hanscom Field.
Beginning in August, one of Hanscom’s runways will also be resurfaced, Goodspeed added. As a result, some of Hanscom’s traffic will be rerouted so their flight paths go more over Bedford and Lincoln rather than Concord and Lexington, Goodspeed said.
Boston MedFlight project
Boston MedFlight is also moving its local base from Hanscom Air Force Base to Hanscom Field. The company is building a new hangar on the site of an older one that’s been demolished. This new facility will allow easier access for training, education, community outreach as well as helicopter maintenance, since visitors will no longer need to go through Air Force base security.
“Nothing is going to change as far as our operations go” in terms of the number of aircraft or staff on site, said Boston MedFlight General Manager of Aviation Rick Kenin.
Among those who will benefit from the easier access are Lincoln Fire Department paramedics, who get their first-responder training from Boston MedFlight. The company already hosts some visits from community members and groups such as Boy Scouts, “but we plan to greatly expand that once we’re on the civilian side” of the air field, Kenin said. “This will work out much better as far as community activity and outreach.”
The $17 million project is expected to be complete in about a year.
Boston MedFlight currently has two local offices, one on Hanscom Air Force Base and another in the nearby Lincoln North office building, as well as facilities in Plymouth and Lawrence. The nonprofit firm transports about 4,000 patients per year, about half of them via ground transportation and the rest by helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft, Kenin said. Most of the flights take critically ill or injured patients from community hospitals (including Emerson Hospital in Concord) to Massachusetts General Hospital and other advanced-care Boston hospitals, but the company also picks up some patients directly from accident scenes.
Boston MedFlight is not taxpayer-funded, relying instead on donations and insurance reimbursements, Kenin noted.