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

Pittsfield Airport: Increased Military Traffic Caused By Training Demands

Staff ReportsPrint Story | Email Story
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,   

3 Comments welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to

PCTV Documentary Finds Pittsfield Parade Dates Back to 1801

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Community Television's recently released documentary "Fighting For Independence:  The History of the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade" has traced the first Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade back to at least 1801.  

An article in the Pittsfield Sun from July 7, 1801, says that "at 12:00 o’ clock at noon a Procession was formed consisting of the Militia of the town."

Previously the Pittsfield Parade Committee acknowledged that the parade dated back to 1824.

"This was a fascinating discovery, as we researched to put this documentary together," said Bob Heck, PCTV’s coordinator of advancement and community production and executive producer of the program.  "Not only were we able to trace the parade back further than ever before, but to see how the parade has impacted Pittsfield, and how the community always seems to come together to make sure the parade happens is remarkable."

The Pittsfield Fourth of July parade experienced bumps in the road even back in the early 1800s - most notably, when Captain Joseph Merrick, a Federalist, excluded Democrats from the yearly post-parade gathering at his tavern in 1808.

The parade ran concurrently from at least 1801 until 1820. In 1821, Pittsfield’s spiritual leader Dr. Rev. Heman Humphrey, canceled the festivities so the day could be dedicated to God before resuming in 1822 after residents decided they wanted their parade.

"Fighting for Independence: The History of the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade" premiered July 4 at 9:30 am on PCTV Access Pittsfield Channel 1301 and PCTV Select.  The program is available on-demand on PCTV Select, available on Roku and Apple TV, or online.

View Full Story

More Pittsfield Stories