Friday, April 10, 2009

Deval's "Trivial" Pursuit

$3m from federal stimulus to pave Hanscom for corporate jets
The Boston Globe, 4/8/09
By Andrew Ryan

The federal stimulus package has landed at Hanscom Field with $3 million to repave two taxiways for corporate jets.

The award is less than one-third of the $9.7 million the state requested when it submitted a list of "shovel-ready" projects ripe for stimulus money. The $3 million will be used to repave two taxiways, instead of the three described in the original pitch, which noted that corporate jets rely on the airfield in the heart of a high technology and business corridor.

"Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act we are creating jobs in Massachusetts and across the country while investing in the long-term safety and economic vitality of our airports," US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said a statement released by the White House.

Massport, which operates Hanscom and submitted the request, said the funds will be used to refurbish taxiways M and G, which have not been rehabbed since 1980 and 1981, respectively, according to spokesman Richard Walsh. Although Hanscom is home to 60 corporate jets, it is a general aviation airport used by other private planes, the military, and student pilots at its two flight schools. The repaving of the taxiways will benefit everyone, Walsh said.

"To say that it is for corporate or any single category is an oversimplification," Walsh said.

Several state lawmakers opposed the project, including Representative Jay R. Kaufman, a Democrat from Lexington, one of the towns bordering Hanscom. Kaufman told the Globe in March that using federal stimulus money for this project "reinforces bad corporate behavior, not good corporate behavior."

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