‘Fanning’ plan has few fans

June 27, 2008
By

DAVID TABER

Despite a formal rejection from the Logan Airport Community Advisory Committee (CAC), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) still plans to study a “fanning” proposal that would give aircraft more latitude in their flight paths departing over southwestern Boston.

The FAA plans to study the proposal as part of an ongoing noise abatement study. But William Lyman, who is currently serving as JP’s representative on the CAC, said the proposal “is totally out of whack with the purported purpose of the study.”

One of the criteria for approval of noise abatement proposals is that they not saddle communities with new noise burdens, Lyman said.

The fanning proposal would allow planes taking off from Logan’s Runway 27 to depart at a trajectory of anywhere from 270 degrees to 235 degrees. That leeway would mean planes could leave town flying anywhere over an area spanning from just north of Boylston Street downtown heading toward Kenmore Square to the Southwest Corridor.

Currently, planes departing on the runway follow a flight path along the corridor at 235 degrees. Under the proposal, planes would be much more likely to fly over sections of JP west of the corridor.

The current trajectory is the result of a 1980s lawsuit brought by the Runway 27 Coalition, a group of southern Boston neighborhoods. William Lyman is the husband of Anastasia Lyman, who was active in the Runway 27 Coalition and used to sit on the CAC.

“This is just a way for them to see if they can increase capacity,” Lyman said, but, “The purpose of the study is noise abatement, not efficiency.”

FAA spokesperson Jim Peters said the FAA is still looking at the fanning proposal along with other proposals carried over from phase one of the study because standard criteria for the rejection of proposals has not yet been developed.

Massport, the state agency that runs Logan, is also participating in the study. “Once criteria are developed that meet [the CAC’s] goals as well as the airport’s goals we will adhere to that language,” he said.

If fanning “goes against the goals of all three [parties] we could not support it,” he said.

The fanning proposal was carried over from phase one of the study, which was focused on near-term noise abatement measures that did not require environmental impact studies. Five proposals carried over from the first phase were rejected by the CAC in February but remain on the table, Peters said.

The CAC approved around 30 other proposals for further study. They include a proposal that would keep airplanes taking off from Runway 27 “on track until they are further out, so they don’t start turning onto course until they are beyond Roslindale,” Lyman said.