Collaborating with local conservation commissions to preserve natural resources in Massachusetts
More than 15 years ago we partnered with Massport, the owner and operator of L.G. Hanscom Field, to survey and manage the vegetation within the approaches of its four runway ends. This project ensures compliance with FAA safety regulations, keeping the airport’s critical airspace free of obstructions.
First, we collected and analyzed aerial photogrammetric data. What did we find? Trees growing in most of the protected airspace surfaces. The team worked with the FAA and Massport to determine the appropriate airspace surfaces to be maintained.
Then we identified protected environmental resources (such as vernal pools, wetlands, and protected species) within the management areas. Collaboration with local municipal conservation commissions allowed for both the safety of aircraft operations and the preservation of natural resources.
This all led to the implementation of a multi-year Vegetation Management Plan. Every few years, Massport consults with a number of stakeholders including commercial interests, the Minute Man National Historic Park, local residents, and municipal conservation commissions to re-evaluate the plan. We’ve been back twice already, and the latest update is in progress.
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