BOSTON, MA – On Thursday, December 3, Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (D-Boston) hosted a public forum with officials from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Massport in order to address growing complaints about the frequency and increased levels of airplane noise for local towns and neighborhoods surrounding Logan International Airport.
During the nearly four hour forum at Milton High School, open to all affected communities, residents voiced their concerns with the flight paths under the RNAV procedures of the NextGen, GPS-based navigation system. Extended repeated periods of aircraft noise, negative health and wellness impacts, and a lack of responsiveness from the agencies were common refrains.
Officials from the FAA and Massport provided presentations on the NextGen system and air traffic at Logan International Airport. The forum was opened to the audience for questions and, after years of requests, residents finally had a chance to directly ask questions of both FAA and Massport officials.
“The strong turnout at last night’s forum speaks to the significant concerns my constituents and the residents of surrounding cities and towns have with the current flight paths. Many communities are experiencing a disproportionate burden of airplane noise and there are negative health and quality of life implications. We cannot allow this to continue,” said Congressman Lynch. “We sent a clear message to the FAA and Massport last night and I am committed to holding these agencies accountable. We will work together to develop an action plan in order to more equitably distribute the pain of airplane noise,” Lynch added.
The forum included remarks from Chair of the Milton Board of Selectmen J. Thomas Hurley, State Representative Walter F. Timilty, Congressman Michael E. Capuano, Congresswoman Katherine Clark, State Senator Brian A. Joyce, Flavio Leo of Massport, and President of the Logan Airport Community Advisory Committee Darryl Pomicter. Todd Freidenburg and Alan Hale of the FAA presented. Congressman Lynch moderated the question and answer portion of the forum.
Since 2014, Congressman Lynch has called on the FAA to meet directly with concerned residents to discuss the adoption of the NextGen, GPS-based navigation system. The GPS-based flight system guides hundreds of flights per day with laser-like precision over a narrow flight path. While the RNAV procedures of the NextGen system can increase efficiency and save on jet fuel costs, the neighborhoods lying beneath those flight paths can experience extended periods of aircraft noise, raising health implications and negatively impacting the quality of life for local families.
While the FAA has been open to meeting with elected officials, requests for constituent meetings have been denied in the past. Following a meeting with FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta and State Representative Timilty in Washington, D.C. in September, Congressman Lynch was able to secure an agreement that the FAA would participate in Thursday’s community forum in Milton.
The video of the forum is available here, courtesy of Milton Access Television.