All airports, from the smallest community airport to the largest commercial facility, need to manage their surrounding trees and smaller vegetation near the runways. As trees and other vegetation grow taller they create safety hazards for pilots and can limit the visibility between the aircraft and the control tower. The FAA Safety Regulations require that certain areas of trees and shrubs surrounding airports must be cut, even if they occur within wetlands.
The Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act allows for vegetation management at airports as a Limited Project Status, but requires that vegetation management must be done with careful design and precautions to minimize adverse effects on the wetlands. The identification of areas that need to be cut in and near wetlands is presented in Vegetation Management Plans (VMPs) and Yearly Operating Plans (YOPs) which are developed for each airport.