Expanding a runway at the New Bedford Regional Airport has been discussed for decades, perhaps even longer than we've talked about bringing commuter rail to New Bedford.

While we have yet to see a train, we have the tracks, and new rail stations are under construction. We still haven't seen construction on a new runway.

A longer runway would allow New Bedford to handle larger aircraft, boosting the local economy and providing new transportation options for the region.

WBSM-AM/AM 1420 logo
Get our free mobile app

Former Mayor Fred Kalisz hoped to attract spillover cargo flights to New Bedford from crowded, larger markets such as Boston and Providence. Expanding a runway would have been necessary. It didn't happen.

Current Mayor Jon Mitchell tried small, limited commercial flights to and from Florida using the available runway system, but it wasn't profitable. Larger planes require longer runways.

Environmental and safety concerns have so far prevented the airport runway from the expansion it requires to make the airport competitive.

The Airport Solutions Group, LLC considers New Bedford's airport a "transportation gateway to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket."

Cape Cod Gateway Airport in Hyannis may be on the verge of becoming what officials in New Bedford have dreamed of.

Simple Flying reports Hyannis is proceeding with a $25 million, federally funded upgrade, which includes an expanded runway "to accommodate larger aircraft and attract more commercial services." The publication says the airport "has begun to thrive as a hub for private aviation."

Hyannis Airport Growth Outpacing New Bedford
YouTube/City of New Bedford, MA

Cape Air and Jet Blue currently offer small aircraft service to Hyannis, and American Airlines plans to join them in the summer of 2024. All three would like to be able to land larger aircraft in Hyannis. The extension of the runway will allow that to happen.

The Cape Cod Gateway Airport expansion is not without controversy. Some say the expansion is using taxpayer dollars to benefit private jets, while others want the airport eliminated in the interest of the environment.

The New Bedford Regional Airport is in the preliminary stages of replacing the airport terminal and tower, projects not expected to see completion until late 2027. There are no announced plans for extending the runway in New Bedford.

6 States with the Most Airports in the Country

It wasn't shocking to hear that Texas has more airports than any other state. But let's look at which 6 states have the most and just how many airports they have.

Gallery Credit: Billy Jenkins

A Trip on Edaville's Double-Headed Steam Special

On December 31, 2023, Edaville Family Theme Park in Carver, Massachusetts celebrated an entire Christmas season running exclusively steam trains with a Double-Headed Steam Special, with Engine 3 and Engine 11 working in tandem to take a train out to parts of the park not usually seen.

Gallery Credit: Tim Weisberg

More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420