Group fighting airplane noise taking off in Boston's southern neighborhoods

Boston South Fair Skies holds its second formal organizing meeting on Wednesday in Roslindale.

The group, formed earlier this year after residents grew tired of hour after hour of jets roaring overhead in narrow air corridors, meets at 6:30 p.m. in the Roslindale Community Center, 6 Cummins Highway at Washington St.



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    I'll raise you one

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    And ask why residents on the other side of Franklin Park, who are still under the flight path AND the planes are closer to their homes when they fly over, have not even been asked their opinion on the matter?

    We have, actually

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    Had a whole big meeting about it and an FAA rep even showed up (to basically tell everyone to fuck off). Thanks for your concern, though.

    It's OK if you don't know what the hell you're talking about

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    Most people would stay quiet, but whatevs, you be you.

    Actually, this affects Roxbury as much as Roslindale, and there was representation from Roxbury at the last meeting - and if anything, the flights should be directed more over Newton and Brookline (which the planes avoid), but they're not.

    But that's not the issue. Nor is the issue of them (OK, us, since I live right in the heart of the new airplane alley) living in a city and wah, wah, move to Lunenburg.

    The issue is one of fairness. Back in the old days, flight paths were fairly wide corridors and nobody in this part of the city got hit with hour after hour of plane after plane, because they would take slightly different paths in those corridors. But now the FAA has very tightly controlled, very narrow corridors out of Logan and so when the winds are right, the same people get hit with the noise for hours at a time.

    The noise is bad

    Why not find litigants with the same fact set as the ones who won the case in Brookline, take it to court and demand the same remedy?

    flight path

    In other words, we don't care where the planes are routed

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    Just as long as they don't go over OUR neighborhood.

    Here's a suggestion. Instead of filing lawsuits (the new knee jerk reaction of the WAAHHHHHmbulance generation), why doesn't this group hire some consultants versed in aviation planning, and then present an actual plan that minimizes the noise issues for everybody, instead of just shifting the problem to others.

    Oh wait, that actually makes sense. Better to bully the authorities and the politicians into giving us what we want. After all, as long as the planes aren't flying over MY neighborhood, it really doesn't matter where they're flying.

    Whaaaahhmbulance generation?

    I think that would be your generation - the Baby Boomers - hands down.

    Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
    Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind
    Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?
    And the sign said anybody caught trespassin' would be shot on sight
    So I jumped on the fence and-a yelled at the house
    "Hey! What gives you the right?"
    "To put up a fence to keep me out or to keep mother nature in"
    "If God was here he'd tell you to your face, man, you're some kinda sinner"

    In my heavily impacted community, it is absolutely the Baby Boomers who are leading the anti-jet noise charge!

    But you have no idea about how bad it can get because you live in Reading, which doesn't get this problem like people in Medford and other "under flight path" areas do. You don't even have your own "listening station" because you don't get your windows rattled or have to pause your TV program or interrupt your conversation every three to five minutes.

    Although getting to see a plane hit by lightning last summer was, well, interesting.

    Take-off over the ocean when conditions allow

    and get rid of exclusion corridors like Brookline and or Newton so noise pollution is shared evenly. I think it would take one or two successful lawsuits to force the FAA and original litigants to redesign a solution.

    And they do

    If the wind is in a certain range of direction, planes will take off towards the ocean. But, that just means planes are landing in the same direction, and therefore, flying over land.

    But, you knew all that.

    Not the case

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    They take off and land over water using different runways.

    They can do this when the conditions are calm.

    Pot - Kettle

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    Aren't you the same guy who whines about the commuter rail ALL the time? People aren't saying they shouldn't fly over certain neighborhoods, they're saying they shouldn't be concentrated solely over certain neighborhoods since for decades they were more widely dispersed over a broader range of neighborhoods, which seemed pretty fair since we all benefit from the nearby airport. If that bothers you, feel free to going back to whining about your train being a minute late (or stop whining and pay to park in town once in awhile and give the rest of us a break).

    I'll eat a little bit of crow on this

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    But I will ponder why the people of Roslindale, who are 2 miles further away from the airport yet (being generous and using Rawston Road as the point in Roslindale) only 70 feet above the highest point in Grove Hall, are the ones griping the most on this issue. I mean, why aren't the meetings happening in Grove Hall?

    And before you say I don't know what I am talking about, remember that I live under the flight path in Roslindale (albeit perhaps 120 feet below you, but at the same elevation as a certain Roslindale politician who is personally concerned about the issue.)


    Middle class people are way more likely to complain and organize than poorer folks and, probably more critically, are likely to get results which of course leads to more expectations of fairness and justice than poor people (reasonably) have.

    I mean, if this flight path was coming in over Chestnut Hill south of Route 9 and was going over Brady, Kraft, and Henry's houses, you don't think they and all their equally rich neighbors would be all over this? Of course not. It wouldn't even been an issue - we'd all assume that of course rich people would complain if this situation was happening over there.

    Noise Abatement "Truths"

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    Basic facts (or TRUTHS) of the noise abatement business:

    1. Only a few people complain, but they often do so multiple times a day. If you accept their statements (professionals do not) they will distort one's understanding of reality.
    2. Massport addressed this situation in a briefing. See charts numbered 50-54 in
    3. The biggest generators of complaints are (1) socioeconomic status (well enough situated to make noise a priority -- noted herein), and (2) NEW noise (began or increased in the last few years -- not noted herein).
    4. Roslindale has both (there was a 'small' change to the Runway 27 departure procedure in 2013); Roxbury has neither. See
    5. Milton has only socioeconomic status (upper middle class). They've done a remarkable job of complaining about a situation that has persisted for 50 years.

    My neighbor's brother is a sound engineer

    He stood outside on our street in Medford one day this summer when they were launching every three minutes for several hours and the noise was relentless. Readings were never under 50 dB and peaked at 85-90 dB depending on the plane.

    Note that we are on a dead end street surrounded by forest.

    Much worse than it used to be.

    This is what I like

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    Not the noise, the data.

    What could be bellyaching could be real, or vice versa. Unless you have the data to back it up, you’ve got nothing.


    As bad as a neighbor Logan's 22/4R & 22/4L is to South Boston, It's nothing compared to East Boston with 33/15.

    Last week's Boston voter turnout

    Registered Voters 392188 - Cards Cast 108909 27.77%

    When Boston doesn't even get every third registered voter to the polls, it's hard to imagine that anybody is actively supporting anybody. It's only been one year after a reflexive, reactionary novice wins a national election, and still, few can be bothered to participate in voting.

    Without having figures broken down for the parts of Boston in the flight path, I'd have to argue, based on the citywide figure, that said residents have the government that they deserve. Nice electoral inertia. Go buy a noise machine.

    I'll never understand the ongoing tacit endorsement of rich white people getting to make rules to suit them. That city ballot was full of women and non-whites, and you all sent Walsh and Flaherty right back to work to fleece you. And I'm a white person with some (but not a lot of) money. Least I can hedge against the electoral wishes (or lack threreof) of my peers.

    Last four flights

    I came in and went out in fair weather. Each time, the plane was routed over the harbor.

    They do seem to be getting that affected communities need a break. Either that, or their unpublished noise monitoring data are telling them that they now have many more people living in the >65dB zone due to the new flight configurations and they are desperately trying to end the year by bringing down those exceedences.

    Of course I just got a noisy one over my house in Medford due to the usual pattern in wet weather.

    It isn't as easy as "quit using Logan" if you want to be employed. It would be much easier if we had train systems like they do in Europe and Japan, but cross-country would still require air travel.

    A) In the Metro Northeast

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    A) In the Metro Northeast rail travel is fantastic. ( I utilize it on a monthly basis)

    B) Those train systems in Europe and Japan have similar noise issues, they just prioritize differently. Acela has a limit much of the way for a reason. Japan/Europe could give two shits about noise issues.

    C) THe US does not have the density to carry high speed rail outside of the metro northeast and some other city corridors not directly connected to the northeast. It is too bad that Amtrak instead of regional entities handle the city center to city center route. The existence of Amtrak ensures the existence of garbage overnight etc trains (NYC- Florida etc). The NEC subsidizes other rail travel in this nation, regionalize it and the NEC gets even better with more dollars available. Of course the noise problem does not go away.

    Rail service is okay to NYC

    The break even city versus using planes is Philly, possibly Baltimore (door to door, with security waits for the planes).

    I've used trains for all of these, and DC as well. I prefer to use trains.

    But it isn't viable to get to Portland or Seattle or LA.

    Speak up!

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    Speak up, I can't hear you over the planes taking off every 2-3 minutes. You need to speak LOUDER.


    A Chelsea Resident

    Walking home tonight

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    Up Washington Street, basically along the flight path, I heard the planes overhead.

    Except when the vehicular traffic drowned them out.

    Again, I’ve had no sympathy for this argument for about 15 years now.

    Of Course You Hear Airplanes

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    Over ONE MILLION people in greater Boston can hear airplanes sometimes.
    With an airport in the city, it cannot be otherwise,

    Just think--if more people

    Just think--if more people ditched their cars for bicycles and public transportation, you'd be able to hear those planes even better! #themoreyouknow

    Rozzie has noise ... but not THAT much

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    Certainly, Roslindale has aircraft noise. NO DOUBT. But ...

    • It's unquestionably not as much as ... East Boston, Revere, Winthrop, Chelsea, South Boston, Lynn, Everett, Charlestown, Dorchester, Somerville, Medford or Roxbury.
    • Depending upon the metric employed, it's also not as much as Cambridge, Milton, Hull, South End, Malden, or ...
    • Roslindale's noise is more than West Roxbury, Hyde Park or Mattapan.

    Most folks in Rozzie don't understand that about 17 communities have it worse.
    AND ... Citizen representatives AGREED to the current flight path.

    NIMBYs will be NIMBYs

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    I live right under the runway 27 departure...on the top floor of a 6 story condo and above the tree line. This runway is used quite often in the mornings - as early as 5-6AM. At this point in the flight path, the aircraft are well below 2000 ft. (By the time these flights reach Roslindale they are closer to 7-10,000 feet.)

    Can it be noticeable? Sure. Is it anywhere near as unbearable as these people claim? Not a chance.

    These people want the amenities of an urban area without the trade-offs. If you don't like noise, leave the city.

    Now I'll switch sides

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    Are you really saying that representatives from Roslindale agreed to this flight path? Or is the truth that people from other areas agreed that the flight path (or specifically this flight path) will go over Grove Hall, Franklin Park, and Roslindale?

    My stance on my neighbor's complaints about this are well stated in this comment section.

    Flight Path Over Roslindale

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    That flight path was recommended by the FAA in 1996 and approved by the federal district court. It was the least bad, in terms of human exposure to noise, of 20 paths investigated. For the court order, see the files section of:

    The implementation was overseen by volunteers from the public and the Boston Public Health Board (I think that's the name).
    See the letter from Anastasia Lyman

    The public members insisted on a narrow corridor.

    I live in Eagle Hill and,

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    I live in Eagle Hill and, unless I am on my roof, I don't even notice that much noise when planes are flying almost directly overhead-- which is not all that frequently.

    Massport paid for you to have good windows

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    That's why you and the sixth floor poster above don't notice it so much - you have the windows that Massport paid for as a mitigation.

    Those of us who didn't get subsidized upgrades get the full flavor of noise because of the way Massport carves out wide blocks around their now tight flight paths so they can average away the noise and not pay for window upgrades.

    Apples to apples please

    East Boston, Revere, Winthrop, Southie, Chelsea, most of Dorchester and Roxbury are all much closer to the airport. Comparable communities by distance would be Watertown, Brookline and eastern Newton, west Cambridge, etc...

    I'm more intrigued by the citizen rep angle TBH though.

    At least they're not as bad as the Milton group...

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    who complain with a straight face that many of their neighbors had to get hotel rooms so that the airplane noise did not affect the kids' MCAS scores. The lack of self awareness is just awesome. Join their Facebook group, it's like a car crash- you can't look away.

    So are there any other flight

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    So are there any other flight paths that planes leaving/coming to Logan can take?

    Anything that restricts the number of flights or increases flight times would be a major detriment to the Greater Boston economy.

    I am just wondering if it is possible to lessen the noise without compromising any of the Logan flights.

    I am just wondering if it is

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    I am just wondering if it is possible to lessen the noise without compromising any of the Logan flights.

    The best chance of noise reduction for Roslindale in the next couple of years is the 'RNAV Study' being performed by MIT and funded by Massport.

    So are there any other flight paths that planes leaving/coming to Logan can take?

    FYI, Runway 27 departures, which overfly Roslindale, is the FOURTH most used departure runway end (after Runways 9, 22R, and 33L). One in nine (or 11%) departures is from Runway 27. Using it even less is not likely.

    Grove Hall resident here

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    Since I've lived here there has been plane noise and it was just a part of life. But once they made the flight corridors narrower, the planes go directly over my house. It is very loud and continues for hours on end. I've sat outside and timed it. Sometimes there is less than two minutes before the sound of one plane ends and the next one starts. Some planes are low enough to rattle my old windows.

    Yes, it has gotten much worse. It can be difficult to have a conversation because you have to keep pausing.

    And I used to live in Chelsea.

    You can blame your fellow

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    You can blame your fellow citizens who requested that the flight paths be kept narrow instead of being spread out over a wide area because of their fear that MassPort would take advantage of that in order to fly more planes.