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Belmont joins committee advocating quieter air traffic to/from Logan

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  October 4, 2013 12:41 PM

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Belmont is joining a group of 30 Boston-area communities that want a quieter sky.

Belmont selectmen recently voted to join the Logan Community Advisory Committee, a group of community representatives who want to reduce overhead noise from airplanes arriving at or departing from Logan Airport in Boston.

The vote comes after Belmont residents began coming to selectmen with questions and concerns about recent commercial air traffic changes over Belmont, which have concentrated some flight paths with GPS navigation to make trips more efficient, officials said. However, several communities' residents say the loud jet engines are becoming a burden as planes fly the same routes over and over -- directly above their homes.

Currently, the advisory committee -- which consists of 30 Greater Boston communities within a 20-mile radius from Logan Airport -- is working with the airport and the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct a Logan noise study, which will help figure out a tangible way to cut back on the loud sounds while also letting airplane pilots travel to and from Logan safely.

To date, the project is the largest FAA-funded noise study in the nation, with an $8.3 million price tag for the first two phases of the three-part study. Since the study began in 2002, there have already been changes made in flight paths - for example, planes are now required to fly much higher than before over some communities, and pilots are discouraged from navigating over highly-populated areas.

Belmont appointed resident Myron Kassaraba to represent the town to the advisory committee; the town's public information officer, Bob Reardon, Jr., will serve as Kassaraba's alternate and the official town liaison, officials said.

Reardon and Kassaraba plan to participate in an upcoming review of the new flight path program, and will make a presentation at the Oct. 28 Belmont Board of Selectmen’s meeting.

For more information on Belmont's new role in the airport noise study, visit the town's official website.

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Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com

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