Flight noise over JP
The flights over JP and surrounding areas have gotten progressively worse, especially after the new navigation system, RNAV, in 2013. As a result, communities (i.e. homes) directly below the flight paths are subjected to noise and air pollution almost every 1-2 minutes on most mornings in JP, except for days when weather patterns change (i.e. wind direction). Unfortunately, the airplanes flying above JP are quite low, approx 3000 ft, and there are few options to reduce the air/noise pollution over JP. More JP residents need to call MassPort (617-561-3333) and complain if we, as a community, want MassPort/FAA to take notice and make changes. All communities in and around Boston need to share the burden of flight noise of city living!
I applaud the Gazette for bringing the issue of PILOTs (Payment in Lieu of taxes) to more prominence. As outlined in your article Boston is at a disadvantage in collecting tax revenue because there are so many non-profit institutions in the city. Many of these institutions agreed to pay a percentage of their assessed value but few pay the entire amount and some pay very little or nothing. As also stated in your article some universities claim that they sponsor other community benefit programs which take the place of their PILOT payments yet there is no oversight of those programs and no way to assess the value or need for those community programs. It is clear that the city needs actual funds to carry out all of its functions including public safety, maintenance of infrastructure and institutions such as the libraries and schools, all of which benefit the non-profit institutions.
The Boston Education Justice Alliance (BEJA) is working in Coalition with the Pilot Action Group on a campaign to increase payments by those universities which are behind in what they earlier promised to pay and to implement oversight over the payments. We also feel that some of the additional money raised should go to fund the Boston Public Schools which have been dramatically underfunded for years. The city of Boston plans to hold a hearing on the subject of pilot payments this summer. BEJA and the JP Forum are also planning an informational meeting in the fall on this subject, please look for details on this event as they become available.