City councilors pen letter to FAA, Massport on plane noise

A group of city councilors, including Jamaica Plain’s Matt O’Malley, have signed on to a letter addressed to Massport and the New England office of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) raising concern over noise from airplanes coming and going from Logan International Airport.

Besides O’Malley, City Councilors Michelle Wu (at-large), Michael Flaherty (at-large), Annissa Essaibi-George (at-large), Ayanna Pressley (at-large), Tim McCarthy (District 5), and Andrea Campbell (District 4) signed the Sept. 11 letter.

“We are writing to express our concern in regard to the increasingly detrimental effects of airplane noise to the neighborhoods of Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Roslindale, and West Roxbury,” the letter states. “Due to changes in the flight patterns out of the Logan International Airport, the neighborhoods are growing increasingly impacted, and we share the frustration felt by many of our constituents. Nearly every morning, planes begin to fly overhead at or before 6 a.m. and often continue essentially non-stop for hours at a time. This can negatively impact an individual’s sleeping pattern, acuity, and quality of life.”

The letter goes on to say residents are “accustomed to a reasonable level of noise” from planes, but that recent changes to flight paths have made it “unbearable.”

“We have noticed a quantifiable uptick in calls regarding the unbearable noise. Our own exponentially growing frustration with airplane noise leaves us gravely concerned about the quality of life in our neighborhoods if this issue is not addressed,” the letter states.

The letter mentions a MIT study currently underway that is studying the issue, but says in the meantime, the councilors hope a productive dialogue will lead to an alleviation of some of the noise.

Massport did not respond to a request for comment.

When the Gazette reached out to the FAA New England office, spokesperson Jim Peters replied in an email, “We received the letter from the Boston City Council today. We will respond directly to each member who signed the letter.”


2 comments for “City councilors pen letter to FAA, Massport on plane noise

  1. Abby Shepard
    October 11, 2017 at 8:11 am

    It would be helpful for many if there was more information in this article about what to do or who to contact regarding these issues. Massport has a complaint form that you can create an account for and log complaints that you can then track and have a record of. The more people do this – the more actual complaints can be logged and create some accountability. Here’s the link in case it’s helpful for readers.

    We live directly under the new flight patter and its so awful – I wake up at 5am and listen to roaring jets every 2 minutes for hours. This morning it’s been a steady stream from 6am to now, 8am. It used to be so peaceful for living in the city – it’s hard to believe that even our political and community representatives can’t stop this from happening. It’s pretty unbelievable and it is absolutely unbearable now to be in our house when this is happening. So sad that people have to fight to be able to live reasonably in their own homes. There’s no reason why Logan can’t continue to use a disbursed flight pattern at higher and wider courses – instead of this tighter, lower pattern that allows them to save fuel and fly more planes which = more $$ in their bottom line. Why should they care about the community they are allowed to be in when they can make more money – who can hold them accountable? It would be nice if we and our communities could.

  2. Abbi Alton
    October 1, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    This article is correct. The noise has become unbearable, and my family is thinking of moving, which would be a terrible resolution to the problem, but could be the only one available. I do not believe the FAA is inclined to change anything. But I applaud our city councillors for trying.

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