Hanscom Field

Hanscom Field (IATA: BED, ICAO: KBED, FAA LID: BED) (Laurence G. Hanscom Field) is a public use airport operated by the Massachusetts Port Authority, located 2 miles from the central business district of Bedford, a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States.[1]

Laurence G. Hanscom Field
Hanscom Field Logo.png
Airport typePublic / military
OperatorMassachusetts Port Authority (Massport)
LocationBedford, Massachusetts
Focus city forTailwind Air Service
Elevation AMSL132 ft / 40 m
Coordinates42°28′12″N 071°17′20″W / 42.47000°N 71.28889°W / 42.47000; -71.28889Coordinates: 42°28′12″N 071°17′20″W / 42.47000°N 71.28889°W / 42.47000; -71.28889
BED is located in Massachusetts
Location of airport in Massachusetts
Direction Length Surface
ft m
5/23 5,107 1,557 Asphalt
11/29 7,011 2,137 Asphalt
Statistics (2017)
Aircraft operations128,598
Based aircraft262

Hanscom is mainly a general aviation airport, the largest in New England. Both runways can accommodate jets, and are used by Hanscom Air Force Base, a defense-research facility next to Hanscom Field. It is a popular training airport, with more than 40 rental aircraft on the field. The Civil Air Terminal building hosts two flight schools, East Coast Aero Club and Mike Goulian Aviation. East Coast Aero Club offers helicopter and airplane instruction, aerobatics and rental. Mike Goulian Aviation offers airplane instruction and rental. Transient general aviation planes are served by three FBOs: Jet Aviation, Rectrix Aviation, and Signature Flight Support.

Federal Aviation Administration records say the airport had 10,956 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2017,[2] It is in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which called it as a non-primary commercial service airport (between 2,500 and 10,000 enplanements per year).[3]

Hanscom is a critical part of the air transportation infrastructure for Massachusetts and the rest of New England. As T. F. Green Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island and Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in New Hampshire have become viable alternatives to Logan International Airport (the region's main commercial airport), Hanscom Field has emerged as one of the most important airports serving the region's business and general aviation needs.

The field serves aircraft from Piper Cubs to Gulfstream V jets. The events of September 11 caused a number of changes to general aviation in the US. Hanscom Field saw changes implemented by Massport that included security fees, identification cards, and a requirement for propeller locks.

Facilities and aircraftEdit

Hanscom Field covers 1,125 acres (455 ha) at an elevation of 132 feet (40 m) above mean sea level. It has two asphalt runways: 11/29 is 7,011 by 150 feet (2,137 x 46 m) and 5/23 is 5,107 by 150 feet (1,557 x 46 m).[1]

In 2017 the airport had 128,598 aircraft operations, average 352 per day: 82% general aviation, 17% air taxi, <1% military, and <1% scheduled commercial. 262 aircraft were then based at this airport: 141 single-engine, 25 multi-engine, 83 jet, and 13 helicopter.[1]

In 2008, and many years prior, Hanscom has handled the second most aircraft movements of any airport in New England (Boston-Logan is number one). On a nice weekend day the traffic pattern gets so busy the tower is known to close the traffic pattern and only allow full stop landings.

Hanscom Field's traffic is primarily business jets and general aviation aircraft. The airport is served by a FAA control tower which operates 7 am to 11 pm (local). Massport assesses a nighttime field use fee for takeoffs or landings conducted outside of the tower operating hours.

Airlines and destinationsEdit

Under Massport regulations adopted in 1980 (Part F of the General Rules and Regulations for Laurence G. Hanscom Field), scheduled commercial operations are limited to aircraft with up to 60 seats.[4]

From 1999 until 2003, Shuttle America, a Connecticut-based regional airline, operated scheduled service from the airfield, carrying more than 10,000 passengers each month to airports in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania using De Havilland Dash 8 and Saab 340 aircraft. Soon after US Airways Express pulled out, Pan Am Clipper Connection began servicing the airport using Jetstream 31 aircraft. Clipper flights connected Hanscom Field with Pease Airport in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Trenton–Mercer Airport in New Jersey.

In its final years, Clipper added flights from Hanscom to Ithaca-Tompkins Regional Airport in Central New York. Even with this new route, Clipper could never draw the numbers it needed to remain profitable. The airline was forced to cease operation in 2008 by the FAA for lack of funding and management. That left Hanscom Field without scheduled airline service for the first time in a decade. In 2011, Trenton-based airline Streamline Air began its first public charter route to Hanscom using 30-seat Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia aircraft, beginning with two daily round trips on weekdays. Streamline ceased operations on September 15, 2012.[5]


AirNet Baltimore-Martin State, Buffalo, Cleveland–Cuyahoga, Cincinnati, St. Louis–Spirit [6]

Flight schoolsEdit

Executive Flyers AviationEdit

Prior to ceasing operations at Hanscom Field in 2018, EFA was New England's oldest and largest flight school based at Hanscom along with their new facility at Lawrence Airport. EFA had been around since 1964 and was recognized[by whom?] as a Cessna pilot center due to their large fleet of Cessna aircraft and their exceptional maintenance and safety. EFA offered training for Private pilot-ATP.

Executive Flyers had a fleet of: 4 Cessna 172 classics, 4 Cessna 172SPs, 2 Cessna 172SP G-1000s, 1 Cessna 182, 1 Decathlon, 1 Extra 300, 1 Beech Duchess, and 1 Piper Arrow. EFA retired aircraft: Cessna Millennium Skyhawk, Cessna 152, Piper warrior, and the Piper Seminole.

East Coast Aero ClubEdit

East Coast Aero Club, Hanscom's flight school, offers ratings up to ATP. ECAC also offers helicopter training in two Robinson R44 helicopters. ECAC is primarily based at KBED, and also operates out of KASH and KOWD.

ECAC has a fleet of two Piper Tomahawks; two Cessna 172M; two Cessna 172S G1000; one Cessna 172SP; four Piper Warrior II; five Piper Warrior III (Garmin Equipped); one Piper Arrow (New Model); one Diamond DA-40; one Cessna 182T (Garmin Equipped); one Cirrus SR20; one Piper Seminole (Multi-Engine); three Cirrus SR22 (G2, G3, G5); one SR20; two Robinson R44 (helicopter);[7] and American Champion: Super Decathlon.

Sports chartersEdit

As an airport close to Boston, many teams competing in the Boston area use Hanscom Field. Exceptions include the New England Patriots, who use Rhode Island's T.F. Green Airport, and the Boston Red Sox, who typically use Boston's Logan Airport. The following airlines visit Hanscom via Jet Aviation regularly to transport these Boston teams:

Ground transportationEdit

Hanscom can be reached by car by following Route 2A west from exit 30B on I-95/Route 128. It is serviced by the MBTA's Route 76 bus from Alewife Station in Cambridge.

Notable events at Hanscom FieldEdit

On August 8, 1962, a US Air Force KC-135, a modified former tanker, crashed on approach to Hanscom Field's runway 11, destroying the aircraft and killing all three members of the flight crew.

In September 1964, The Beatles arrived at Hanscom Field aboard a chartered aircraft during one of their American concert tours. They were making an appearance at Boston Garden the following day. It was felt that the immense popularity of the British singing group would cause congestion at Boston-Logan International Airport, so this alternative airport was selected.

In April 1975, President Gerald Ford used Hanscom Field before and after making speeches in Lexington, Massachusetts and Concord, Massachusetts to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord.

On November 24, 1988, George Koskotas, who fled Greece after being indicted on five counts of forgery and embezzlement, was apprehended by the FBI at Hanscom Field after landing in a private jet with his family.[8]

In February 2006, NBA player Sebastian Telfair was questioned after a handgun registered to his girlfriend was found in his pillowcase aboard the Portland Trail Blazers team plane.[9]

In 2006, Neil Entwistle was flown from London to Hanscom by U.S. Marshals to face murder charges.[10]

In December 2006, pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka held negotiations with the Boston Red Sox on board a private jet owned by John Henry. The plane was seen landing at Hanscom by news channels from all over Boston as well as some Japanese news outlets.

On August 29, 2009, the body of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy was flown from Hanscom Field to Andrews AFB for burial at Arlington Cemetery.

On May 31, 2014, a private Gulfstream IV business jet crashed and caught fire beyond the end of runway 11 following an aborted take off from Hanscom Field, killing all seven people on board. A preliminary NTSB report suggests that the flight controls were locked, preventing the aircraft from rotating to take off.[11] Lewis Katz, co-owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com, was among the dead.[12][13]

On February 12, 2017 at approximately 2:30 pm local time, a Gulfstream G280 overran the departure end of runway 11 at Hanscom Field after a rejected takeoff during a snow storm. The aircraft, N228BA, had filed an IFR flight plan to Teterboro, NJ. The airframe sustained minimal damage and there were no reported injuries.[14]

Movies/scenes filmed at Hanscom FieldEdit


  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for BED (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective March 31, 2019.
  2. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2017" (PDF, 1.0 MB). CY 2017 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. November 7, 2018.
  3. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010.
  4. ^ "The State of Hanscom, March 2017" (PDF). Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 22, 2012. Retrieved March 22, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Ameriflight Routes". Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  7. ^ "ECAC Bedford, MA (KBED) Aircraft Fleet". East Coast Aero Club. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
  8. ^ Fulham, Dana (November 25, 1988). "US Detains Man Sought by Greece in Scandal". The Boston Globe.
  9. ^ Ulman, Howard (April 24, 2007). "Celtics Severing Ties With Telfair". The Washington Post.
  10. ^ http://wbztv.com/topstories/Neil.Entwistle.Hopkinton.2.576573.html[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ NTSB data published
  12. ^ Cavaliere, Victoria, Chris Michaud, Jon Herskovitz, and Dave Warner, "Philadelphia Inquirer co-owner among seven dead in Massachusetts plane crash," Reuters, June 1, 2014, 2:33pm EDT.
  13. ^ "Saturday 31 May 2014 Accident". Aviation Safety Network. 2014-06-01.
  14. ^ "ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 193545". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  15. ^ Tracked Down: - BostonHerald.com Archived 2011-06-13 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit