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ON PETITION FOR REVIEW OF AN ORDER OF THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION

The Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) authorized Shuttle America Airlines (“Shuttle America”) to provide scheduled passenger service to New York’s LaGuardia Airport (“LaGuardia”) from Hanscom Field (“Hanscom”), a general aviation airport that lies 15 miles northwest of Boston abutting the towns of Bedford, Concord, Lexington, and Lincoln. The petitioners–two preservationist organizations, three of the four towns (Bedford is an intervenor), and stewards of several nearby historic sites–seek review of the FAA decision on the ground that the agency did not adequately consider the adverse effect of the additional Shuttle America flights on historic and natural resources near Hanscom.

Hanscom has been a major aviation facility since 1940, when the Commonwealth of Massachusetts first acquired the site to accommodate the U.S. Army Air Corps. In 1973 the Massachusetts Port Authority (“MassPort”) converted a portion of the site into a general aviation facility serving corporate aviation, flight schools, air charter operations, light cargo, and private business and recreational flights. (The U.S. Air Force uses the remainder as Hanscom Air Force Base.) In 1995, there were about 95,000 general aviation and military flights (defined as a departure and an arrival) at Hanscom.

 
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