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The issue came up at the recent airport study group meeting.

Pittsfield Airport: Increased Military Traffic Caused By Training Demands

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — "It's the sound of freedom" is how the assistant airport manager describes the increased activity of military helicopters at the airport.
 
Residents may have recently noticed many military helicopters flying overhead recently. But don't be alarmed: it's just practice.
 
"The Army helicopters have a new navigation system and they are doing training that has to be accomplished by a certain date," Airport Manager Robert Snuck said.
 
"With us having an instrument approach here, some of that training is required to be conducted in designated mountain terrain. We happened to be a designated mountain terrain."
 
Those two element: having an instrument approach and designed as a mountain terrain makes the Pittsfield Municipal Airport fertile ground for training. The flights come in from Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield or other bases throughout the country, land with the new instrumentation and then fly out. 
 
"A high volume of people in a short amount of time is why we are hearing these," Airport Commission Chairman Chris Pedersen said.
 
The noise from the helicopters is annoying for many, especially when the flights come in late at night. Locally there isn't much that can be done. 
 
"There has been an increase in activity because of that but we cannot restrict the military in any way because of the federal funding we receive," Snuck said. "We can't restrict the amount of flights, the times that they fly."
 
Soon the training period will be over. So buckle up and enjoy the rest of the ride until everyone is trained. Then, the air traffic will somewhat normalize.

Tags: airport commission,   helicopters,   military,   pittsfield airport,   

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