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Climate change activists protest new private jet expansion at Massachusetts airport

Group gathers at Bedford airport to protest new private jet expansion
Group gathers at Bedford airport to protest new private jet expansion 02:13

BEDFORD - Dozens of climate change activists gathered on the tarmac of Hanscom Field Airport on Saturday to protest the expansion of private jet capacity.

Protesting expansion of private jet facilities

"We represent thousands of Massachusetts residents who have declared their opposition to the proposed expansion of private jet facilities here at Hanscom," Extinction Rebellion organizer Alex Chatfield said.

State Police said a small group was arrested after they breached security and gained access to the airfield, which temporarily closed the airport. 

Protestors blocked entrances and circled around the wheels of private jets, refusing to move and stopping planes from taking off.

"Everyone who was arrested today came here knowing there was a possibility they might be arrested. No one was taken by surprise," Jamie McGonagill said.

Extinction Rebellion said the proposed expansion of 17 new private jet hangars at Hanscom Field would primarily serve the wealthiest travelers, posing a threat to the environment. Massport is still considering the issue. 

"Which will add a 300 percent increase in private flights for the ultra wealthy," McGonagill said. 

20 people arrested

The group called on the Healey administration to speak out against the plan, which is currently undergoing an environmental review.

"We have to stop creating more problems. Eventually it is important for us to to stop private flights for the ultra-wealthy," McGonagill said. 

State police say 20 people were arrested on charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct and the airport is now back up and running.

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