By Jon Bishop
AYER — David McCoy, an Ayer resident, has had issues with planes before. Back in the ’90s, he had to deal with aerobatic planes flying over his house.
But now, it’s planes that are performing flight maneuvers.
McCoy said that they’re mostly from the East Coast Aero Club, a private business that operates out of Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford. He said that the club started a training box that runs directly over his house.
In 2014, he found that MassPort has a noise complaint line. He made a video of a plane “that was making multiple low passes over the home,” and he contacted MassPort.
He said that response noted that his home was close to the training area, but, as he stated, he lives about 20 miles from East Coast Aero Club.
“I think the main question I have is: can these general aviation flight training boxes be established over any town or city within the state of Massachusetts without consulting the town government or landowners or property owners?” he said.
As far as he knows, “nobody approached the Board of Health; nobody approached the town building inspectors for permitting; nobody approached the selectmen,” he said.
McCoy, who lives directly across the street from the Nashoba Valley Medical Center, said that there are “a lot of the repetitive flight maneuvers” taking place in this area.
“It seems that the activity, just from over the years of observing the nature of the flight maneuvers — they seem to be concentrated,” he said. “We do understand that there will be flight activity that is transient. We certainly have no issues with that type of activity.”
“It’s the low, repetitive maneuvering nuisance type activity that loiters over our neighborhood and our towns,” he added, referring to the fact that the training area also enters Groton. “As far as we know, there’s no set schedule as to when these flights will arrive.”
They can come as early as 8 a.m., and, sometimes, they’ll last until 9 p.m., particularly in the summertime, he said.
He said that “we’ve been trying to figure out … where else do they do this repetitive maneuvering.”
“All evidence that I’ve obtained points to one area, and that’s where we live,” he added.
What are his next steps?
“I would like to try to connect with Niki Tsongas and Senator Warren to see what they might be able to offer as far as remedying this centralized activity,” he said.
One question he has: Could quiet skies legislation, which seeks to dim the noise near airports, be extended to private flying and to those people who don’t live near an airport?
McCoy said Mark Holzwarth, owner of East Coast Aero Club, knows about the concerns, as he and other community members have contacted him.
“We have had communication with him over the past 15 years, but the majority of the flight training that we continue to see are from his aircraft,” he said.
Holzwarth could not be reached for comment.