Indian stones force changes to Massachusetts airport plan

Montague, Massachusetts (AP) 1-09

Federal officials have ruled that stones discovered in the path of the planned runway expansion at Turners Falls Municipal Airport are part of an Indian “sacred ceremonial hill.”

The Recorder of Greenfield reports Jan. 6 that the ruling by the National Register means the airport will have to revise its plans.

The $5 million expansion plans have been on hold since 2007 while the Federal Aviation Administration awaited a ruling on the stones. The FAA contended they were from a 19th century stone wall.

John Brown, tribal historic preservation officer for the Narragansett Tribe, says the ruling confirms what he already knew.

Airport Manager Michael Sweeney says plans to add 1,000 feet of runway will be re-designed so the stones are not disturbed.