THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
< Back to front page Text size +

Watertown votes to join committee advocating quieter air travel to and from Logan Airport

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  December 13, 2013 03:39 PM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Watertown councilors voted this week to join a regional committee advising Logan Airport officials on noise pollution after the residents have complained about a recent spike in airplane noise.

Watertown officials will soon be accepting applications for appointees to the Logan Community Advisory Committee, a group of representatives from about 30 Greater Boston communities who want to reduce overhead noise from airplanes arriving at or departing from Logan Airport in Boston.

Watertown, along with several nearby towns like Belmont, are becoming involved after recent commercial air traffic changes were instituted at Logan Airport, 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 with a steady procession of planes departing from Logan’s 33L runway flying directly above their homes.

Watertown Councilor Angeline Kounelis previously said that the uptick in low-flying planes has left her house shaking at all hours of the day this fall.

Myron Kassaraba, who was appointed by Belmont officials to represent the town on the advisory panel, previously told the Globe that he became involved after he recently noticed a surge of jet traffic concentrated over his house.

“On days when the flight pattern goes over my neighborhood, there could be as many as 100 or more flights a day, when previously it had seemed there would be maybe one or two flights an hour,” Kassaraba said, noting that residents are concerned both by the noise and a resulting decline in property values. “For people in Belmont, this is not something we’ve ever dealt with at this level of frequency.”

Currently, the advisory committee -- which consists of 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.

Watertown's vote this week to join the regional committee comes after the council's Committee on State, Federal and Regional Government held a meeting Dec. 2 to brainstorm ways to call attention to the issue.

The committee, which is chaired by Kounelis, also asked Town Council to send letters about the noisy plane traffic to state and federal legislators representing Watertown, asking them to continue researching the issue and advise local officials on how to proceed with their cause.

Councilors also voted Monday to ask the town's health department for research on how the noise affects the quality of life in Watertown. They also decided to try setting up a meeting with Federal Aviation Administration officials to discuss the airplane noise.

For more information, view minutes from the Dec. 2 meeting or visit Watertown's official website.

--
Follow us on Twitter: @yourwatertown, @jaclynreiss

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

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article