Twenty climate activists blocking planes at Hanscom Field arrested

Local News

Members of Extinction Rebellion Boston reportedly took to the tarmac to protest plans to expand private jet hangars at Hanscom Field, the region’s largest non-commercial airport.

Twenty people protesting the expansion of private jet infrastructure were arrested Saturday at Hanscom Field. Extinction Rebellion Boston

Twenty people were arrested at Hanscom Field in Bedford, Massachusetts, on Saturday morning during a nonviolent demonstration to protest the planned hangar expansion and the use of private jets, the group said.

The Boston chapter of Extinction Rebellion (XR) – which covered the Citgo sign, blocked downtown traffic and occupied Governor Maura Healey’s office – says it wants to stop flights from taking off at the world’s largest airport. business in the region.

Massachusetts State Police responded to the airport when protesters breached a security perimeter and entered the tarmac Saturday morning, spokesman Dave Procopio said. The 20 people arrested face charges of trespassing and disturbing the peace and will appear in court this week, he said.

A spokesperson for the Massachusetts Port Authority, which operates the airport, said the airport was temporarily closed Saturday as a precaution. The Boston Globe reported.

XR organizers said protesters entered the fixed-base operators’ boarding area and blocked planes from taxiing to the runway. Some circled the wheels of private jets and others stood in front of departing plane traffic before being arrested, the organization said.

Organizers told that they had been planning the demonstration for about four months to protest the additional 17 new private jet hangars planned at Hanscom Field. They say Gov. Maura Healey should stop the expansion.

“We are at the beginning of a climate crisis and the window to avoid the worst is narrowing,” organizer James Comiskey said in a statement to “We should stop all use of private jets, but instead we are considering increasing their use. »

Hanscom Field, operated by Massport, was initially slated to get 27 new hangars to accommodate the growing number of private jets flying to and from New England over the past 30 years. World reported last year.

The Concorde Bridge reported in February that the expansion had been reduced to 17 new hangars.

Climate activists have sharply criticized the use of private jets in recent years. A report from the Institute for Policy Studies indicates that at least half of the flights to and from Hanscom were for recreational and luxury travel.

The report’s authors said 20 frequent travelers were responsible for 14,930 tonnes of carbon emissions over 18 months. The average Massachusetts resident is responsible for nearly eight tons per year.

Harley Takagi Kaner, a member of XR Boston since 2022, said private jet activities at Hanscom and around the world “are a public embarrassment.”

“This is a scandal and I would really like to embarrass the very rich people who take these private jet flights, almost half of which are to vacation destinations,” Takagi Kaner told “These people are far too isolated for us to ever be able to approach them personally, so I want to send a message by physically blocking their unethical behavior with our bodies.

More than 14,000 people have signed a petition to stop Hanscom’s expansion.

“Only the governor has power over Massport,” the petition states.


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