State rep wants somebody from the South End on a Massport plane-noise committee

State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz has filed legislation that would give Boston a new member on the Massport Citizen Advisory Committee - and require that he or she live in the South End, the Boston Sun reports.

The committee meets periodically to discuss complaints about noise from jets going to and from Logan, which the FAA, which runs air traffic control at the airport, can then safely ignore, at least until a member of congress threatens to withhold funding.

The committee currently has six members from Boston, but only East Boston and South Boston are guaranteed seats.



    Free tagging: 


    Here's a better idea

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    Given that the noise is fairly evenly distributed across the windrose of the airport, and that "listening stations" are set up in a representative pattern around the area, wouldn't the best course of action be to have representatives from ALL those places where there are monitors?

    It would make more sense than all this WAAAAAAHHHHH My "town" has the Plane Noises!!!! balkanized insanity.

    The thing is, they're not

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    There's no random distribution of planes leaving Logan. There are a number of flight corridors and over the past five (maybe?) years, those corridors have gotten way narrower. So now, when Logan decides to send planes over, oh, Roslindale (picked totally not at random, since I live there), instead of a few planes roaring overhead, it's one plane after another, every 90 seconds or so, sometimes for several hours in a row.

    Very familiar with those corridors

    I live under one.

    However, are there representatives of communities impacted by each of those corridors on this committee?

    If not, then the answer isn't to pack the committee one piece of legislation at a time. The answer is to require representation from impacted communities in a systematic way.

    Half True, Half Not True

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    There are a number of flight corridors and over the past five (maybe?) years, those corridors have gotten way narrower.

    True Part: DEPARTURE corridors have gotten way narrower, due to the use of GPS guidance in place of 'hand flying' based on a compass heading. Some people in South End, Roxbury, Roslindale, Jamaica Plain, etc. (Rwy 27 departures) have been impacted. Also, some people in Medford, Arlington, Somerville, etc. (Rwy 33L departures). Instead of 'GPS guidance' this change may be called 'RNAV' or 'NextGen'; but it's the same thing.

    This is a result of the law of unintended consequences. (As are car accidents due to driver texting.) MIT is looking at ways to reduce the impact. I would not expect anything to change in the next two years.

    Not True Part: ARRIVAL corridors are (to '98%') unchanged.. Planes used to follow the ILS (Instrument Landing System) and almost all still do. If the pilot does use GPS, it's in place of ILS, not hand flying. So the noise distribution is unchanged.

    Interesting Part: People under arrival corridors -- e.g., in Milton, Quincy and part of Dorchester (Rwy 4R arrivals) -- also cite GPS / RNAV / NextGen as the source of claimed increased aggravation. Some of these claims are undoubtedly due to lack of knowledge; some claimants may be hoping to gain sympathy.


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    There are planes flying over head a lot making noise in the south end? I dont notice from all the rest of the noise. Whats there to complain about?

    South End Only?

    Does this mean someone from St. Botolph Street or Lenox Street would be prohibited from being eligible to be appointed? Or does noise from jets at Logan immediately stop at the Southwest Corridor and at Northampton Streets?

    Don't get the realtors involved because I saw a sign for a new building going up on A and West Third Street that says "Where The South End Meets South Boston Meets The Seaport". Gack.

    But people in the South End doen't notice the planes

    I don't how many planes go over the south end but the neighborhood is pretty noisy itself. Its South Boston, and Dorchester that need a seat at the table. Dorchester is relatively far from the airport so it is really bizarre how plane after plane seems to go right over Pope's hill.

    Here's an idea

    Did you even click through to read the story? South Boston has a seat at the table.

    Dorchester flight paths in the middle of the night

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    I agree that Dorchester needs a seat at the table.
    I live in Fields Corner. There seems to be a flight path for small aircraft in the middle of the night when most people are asleep. And they fly VERY close to the ground, loud enough to wake me up and strong enough to shake the house.

    Am I the only one

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    that actually likes the planes? The noise is something that I have been accustomed to since a child, and love to see them fly by overhead!


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    Now that enough of those poors have been moved out, we can start to care about Roxbury, I mean the South End.

    You bought a "luxury" condo

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    Within a 10 mile radius of a major international airport so shut up. Like the Yupster who bought next to the USS Constitution and couldn't put up with the cannon fire. Shut up!

    No, you shut up

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    This isn't just a South End issue. But aside from the distance to Logan, the issue is that it didn't used to be this way and now it is. Things changed a few years ago and the issue isn't that planes fly overhead but that when they now fly overhead they do so in bulk for long periods of time.

    Not Unreasonable

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    The Massport CAC (Community Advisory Committee) was established in 2013 by legislation (Section 55 of Chapter 46 of the Acts of 2013). The communities having members were specified; some are sketchy IMHO relative to some communities which were omitted (legislation = sausage making). The act was amended in 2015 and some communities were added. Another amendment is not unreasonable.

    Perhaps the best method of rating airplane noise impact on a community is the noise level weighted population, or LWP. The LWP is the number of people predicted to be highly annoyed by aircraft noise, based on standard and accepted models. The 2015 predictions for Logan are on page 76 of:

    That report places the South End as the #15 most impacted community, and higher than some communities with legislatively required membership.

    FYI, based on LWP, the most impacted Boston neighborhoods are: East Boston, Dorchester, South Boston, Roxbury, South End and Downtown.

    Winds of change

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    You can follow the flight paths online using MassPort's (often very poorly functioning) flight tracker tool, and there is also a link to a form for submitting noise complaints. As far out as Westwood (which is on the same route as the South End/Roslindale flight path), the noise is CONSTANT. We suffer noise primarily from Runway 27 departures.

    I looked into how Milton handled the issue—if you Google it, you'll find any number of email addresses and phone numbers to reach out to and voice your complaints. Don't expect much in response, though. No one has gotten back to me.

    If you file complaints on the MassPort website, you can opt to have them reply to you, which they will do both online and via regular mail, but it's a lot paperwork showing how the runways operate, when they do, how weather conditions affect runway usage, etc. The thing is, if you cross reference their justifications, you'll find that they operate outside of those parameters pretty much all the time, but no one except those of us affected by the noise seems to care.

    It is a truly infuriating problem that reaches beyond the city limits.