What’s Happening

  • The GB airport (GBR) is applying to the Great Barrington Select Board for a Special Permit to exist and operate as an airport as it has for nearly 100 years

  • GBR and the Town of Great Barrington have both been targeted with legal action in Boston Land Court for probable closure by private citizens who seem to want to stop it from operating

  • Their campaign is backed by huge private financial and legal resources that the airport and town cannot match

Help Save Our Airport
& Flight School

The airport is a true community resource. It brings so much, including:

  • LifeStar / Air Medical Rescue Facility

  • Flight Training

  • Career Opportunities & Jobs

  • Commerce to Local Area Businesses

  • Civic Pride

  • Historical Landmark

How You Can Help

1. Sign the petition

2. Join our email list for updates and time sensitive announcements of meetings (below)

3. Go to townofgb.org, select Government heading, click on Contact Us go to Other Government Links and scroll to Comments/Questions to Selectboard and Town Manager. Write your comments.

Sign the Petition

Save our Airport and Vocational Flight School for Young People. (And share this with others!)

Why is the airport applying for a special permit to exist as it has for nearly 100 years?

Earlier this year the airport attempted to replace their existing office building with a new structure, on the same footprint, that would be more attractive, better suited to their needs, and be much more energy efficient in recognition of the climate crisis we are experiencing.

They went through the Site Plan Review (SPR) with the Planning Board, as required, and received a building permit. The SPR was appealed by non-abutting neighbors. That appeal went to the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) which unanimously confirmed both the SPR and the building permit. That decision was appealed, again by non-abutting neighbors to Land Court in Boston where it could take years to be heard and could possibly cost the airport and the town $100K each in legal fees.

The non-abutting couple has sued the town of Great Barrington and its ZBA to reverse its decision on the basis that the airport is not legal on a technicality because it does not have a Special Permit to operate. Their argument is that all operations must revert to their status in 1932. They allege that improvements and use have been illegal. The airport, using their logic, must return to a grass landing strip and life saving services like LifeStar would be not allowed. The non-abutting couple has enlisted an abutter to join their lawsuit to give them legal standing.

The lawsuit is in Boston Land Court. The judge posited that a special permit from the town would deem “no cause for action” and thus make the Land Court lawsuit “moot,” as a permit would make the airport a conforming-use.


What is a Special Permit and why does the airport need one?
Zoning was adopted in Great Barrington in 1932. Everything in place at that time was by definition a “legally preexisting non-conforming use.” If something did not conform (e.g. like the airport for its use, or probably hundreds of other residential properties that did not conform to the new code), each became a legally preexisting non-conforming use.

If the special permit is granted, the airport would become a “conforming use.”

What will happen?
The special permit needs to be approved by a supermajority of the Selectboard. In other words, 4 out of the 5 Selectboard members have to vote YES for the permit to pass.

Who can sign the petition?
Anyone of any age anywhere, but especially Gt Barrington and the Berkshires. The goal is to show the Selectboard that the GB airport is important not only to residents but to the entire region and beyond.

What will happen with the petition?
The petition will be presented to the GB Selectboard to encourage each member to vote YES.

Who Are We?

The Citizens Committee to Save the Great Barrington Airport is a group of local residents [not directly affiliated with the airport ownership or management] who want to protect the Great Barrington airport, its heritage, and its right to continue existing.

We feel the airport is an important community and regional asset, vital to the health and well-being of Great Barrington and the surrounding community. The airport provides medical air evacuation LifeStar rescue, operates an active vocational flight school, and trains many teenage students who have gone on to professional aviation careers. It contributes to local nonprofits and charities, is a family-owned business, and is of historical significance. This all helps make GB a great place to live.

© 2022 Citizens Committee to Save the Great Barrington Airport

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