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Comment period for Logan runway plan extended to March 15

Posted by Dave Eisenstadter  February 15, 2013 07:47 AM

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By Dave Eisenstadter, Town Correspondent

Residents and officials from Milton, Dedham, and Canton have mostly opposed a revised Boston Logan International airplane route placing more low-flying planes over those towns.

The comment period, which had been scheduled to end today, has been extended for another month, according to state Senator Brian A. Joyce, a Milton Democrat.

“The towns located underneath the southbound departure route path are already heavily impacted by the airplane noise and pollution,” Joyce wrote in a statement released early this week. “Extending the comment period will allow better community participation in this decision that will have a significant environmental impact on each of the towns located below these flight paths.”

At a Milton selectmen meeting last week, dozens of residents expressed concerns about the routes.

“Quality of life and real estate is going to be compromised,” said Milton resident Laurie Kennedy at the meeting.

“There’s no concern about the people on the ground; there’s only concern about the FAA,” said Philip Johenning, another Milton resident.

Robert Uvello said he lived in the area of Curry College and that airplane noise was just about constant.

“If there is some sort of a proposal that is going to concentrate even more in that area, it will indeed be extreme and I think that’s a problem,” he said.

Massport Manager of Aviation Planning Flavio Leo was present at the meeting to answer questions, but many residents said they wanted to speak with someone with the Federal Aviation Administration, which will make the final decision.

Leo said runway use and direction is determined by wind direction for safety and efficiency.

Changes to the departure route of runway 33L would direct more flights over Milton, Leo said. The FAA is using a system that separates airspace into way points connected by legs for more precise flight routes.

Benefits to the FAA include predictability of operations, reduction of fuel burn, reduction of departure delays, and several others, according to Leo.

He also pointed out that about 68,000 fewer people in the greater Boston area will be exposed to loud airplane noise.

That was tough news to take for those Milton residents who said they're being asked to bear more than their share of the noise.

Dedham and Canton selectmen, at their own meetings this month, both unanimously agreed to sign letters to FAA Project Manager Terry English opposing the change.

Dedham Selectman James MacDonald said the shift would take air traffic away from more populous municipalities such as Somerville and bring them to Dedham, Milton, and Canton.

“We will comment and hopefully other communities will comment, as well,” he said.

Any resident has until March 15 to submit further comments to Terry English, Project Manager, Boston Logan International, Airport Runway 33L RNAV SID Environmental Assessment, Federal Aviation Administration, 11 Murphy Drive, Nashua, NH 03062, or by e-mail at terry.english@faa.gov.

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