There is a glimmer of hope for residents frustrated by the noise and vibrations from airplanes flying over their homes.
In June 2013, the Federal Aviation Administration changed flight paths of planes taking off from runway 33L at Logan Airport to what’s called “RNAV” patterns. These new RNAV patterns narrowed the number of flight paths to three narrow routes, causing airplanes to fly directly over Belmont and neighboring communities including Watertown and Arlington, more often.
Since September 2013, Belmont resident Myron Kassaraba has been Belmont’s representative on the Massport Community Advisory Committee (CAC) and the 33L Municipal Working Group, a group of concerned residents representing Belmont, Watertown, Arlington and Cambridge making an effort to communicate as one voice, the negative impact the changes in 2013 is having on the noise in their communities.
The CAC has worked with legislators, Rep. Katherine Clark and coalitions from Arlington, Cambridge and Watertown. They’ve sent letters requesting relief from the FAA and Massport. In January 2015, the CAC requested a re-evaluation of the 33L RNAV and formed the 33L Working Group. In October 2016, MIT began an RNAV study to evaluate options to disperse flight paths from the 33L runway, similar to what it was prior to the change.
At a meeting on June 24, Dr. John Hansman of MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics presented several options he and his RNAV study team have formulated for runway 33L to disperse the flight paths.
Kassaraba said it would be challenging to go back to flight patterns that are more equitable because communities who haven’t had airplanes flying over them for the past six years, will not like having them again.
“Equity, or what is fair, is a complicated issue,” said Kassaraba.
Each option would change flight patterns and move them to some neighborhoods that have a higher population density like certain parts of Cambridge and Somerville.
He also said it would be challenging because the volume of flights has gone up. Logan now has flights taking off until midnight or 1 a.m. and starting as early as 4:30 a.m.
According to Kassaraba, more information will be needed before any additional progress can be made. He is working on getting this information and hopes to have a public meeting in September.
A letter signed by state Rep. Jonathan Hecht has been sent on behalf of the 33L Municipal Working Group to Hansman requesting more information, including data that shows the baseline for noise before the flight patterns from 33L were changed in 2013 and the current noise data; and flight tracks for each of the new options.
To learn more about the Massport CAC and Hansman’s presentation, visit https://www.belmont-ma.gov/logan-airport-community-advisory-committee.
Original story here.