On Friday, July 19, U. S. Senator Edward Markey hosted a seminar for and on behalf of Massport, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) and invited state legislators. The purpose of the seminar, which was held at the John F. Kennedy Building in Boston, was to notify communities within a 20 nautical mile radius of Logan Airport that the FAA has been conducting noise abatement studies. These studies have been ongoing for several years, and from them has developed, supposedly, a noise abatement plan that minimally impacts 38 communities. The incessant noise you hear today from planes overhead is the result of that study. This study has now resulted in the implementation of planes landing and taking off from runway 33L. This is contrary to all that immediate surrounding communities have been told in the past. The intent with the creation of a newer runway was to decrease noise and until presently, the increase in noise was understood to be due to a study only.
State Representative Wayne A. Matewsky (D–Everett) emphatically explained to the FAA, “I am here to represent my constituents whom for far too long have been embattled with Massport. For Everett residents this is a real quality of life issue; Massport promised us [that] with the construction of an additional runway the noise would be abated, and up until this past year it has been tolerable. We do not want any mitigation money – we want the noise stopped. You continuously tell us it’s about wind direction and weather conditions and patterns. On Father’s Day it was bright and sunny – a beautiful day – and my constituents began calling to complain about the overhead continuous air traffic and noise.” Matewsky concluded by stating, “Change the runway traffic back to where it was before.” FAA representatives chose not to respond, as Matewsky also alluded to joining a lawsuit in opposition to the FAA
Matewsky has been a longtime advocate on the issue of aircraft noise and in the past has organized rallies, served on the CAC and advanced petitioning of Massport, which resulted in minimizing air traffic over Everett. Matewsky explained that “the constant noise from air traffic is intolerable and constant; our citizens are becoming physically sickened by the noise. Our residents must consider the physical wellbeing of their families, their quality of life and that their properties may become unsalable. This present day situation must be addressed by the citizenry [and] state and federal government because we cannot accept that because we are an area with a small footprint we can assume a majority of air traffic. Furthermore, the only notice that I am aware of from the FAA concerns the health of residents and nothing else. There has been no dialogue with the communities and its elected officials.”
The FAA presented their perspective, essentially stating that residents, cities and towns have received sufficient notice of the study and changes. Furthermore, of the 38 communities impacted, there have been approximately only 300 complaints.
State Representative Jonathan Hecht (D–Watertown) challenged this assertion, stating, “The one day legal notice in the back of the Watertown paper is not sufficient notice. Hecht presented a copy of the notice, which was in small print and measured approximately 2×4′.
Legal counsel for the FAA suspended continued discussion on the notice issue, explaining that this was an ongoing topic in present federal litigation and should not be discussed further.
State Representative Denise Provost (D–Somerville) came very well prepared. Provost, dissected the flight patterns, explained the excessive air traffic applied in specific areas, that it continues unabated and that the continuous noise is intolerable.
As the FAA, Massport and the CAC have affirmed these changes, what do you as an impacted resident want to do about it? Do you believe that that you have been adequately notified about the study and changes and do you accept these changes? It is your choice, and if you agree that you and others are being impacted as residents of the Commonwealth, you can make a difference by calling (617) 561-3333 to make your Airport Noise Complaint and/or Massport’s Airport Proprietor at (781) 238-7020.
My office will further provide assistance if so required; please call (617) 722-2080 and/or e-mail [email protected] Thank you for your consideration and future cooperation in this matter.