Environmentalists fear as Logan Airport moves closer to being major East Coast hub

Environmentalists fear as Logan Airport moves closer to being major east coast hub

BOSTON — The top three airports on the East Coast handling transatlantic flights are JFK, Newark, and Miami, but some changes could put Boston just behind New York as an international gateway.

By 2035, Massport is projecting up to 50 million passengers could pass through Logan International Airport every year. That figure comes from a planning report the agency is required to file every five years, but an environmental group says Massport is low-balling the numbers.

London, Rome, Istanbul and just about anywhere else. Logan is adding new gates and welcoming new airlines, so why is Massport projecting a growth rate over the next 10-15 years far below what it's been lately?

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"Just between 2016 and 2017 the amount of growth at Logan airport was significant and is not reflected in their planning document from 2011," said Staci Rubin, Conservation Law Foundation. "Essentially they're saying their growth is going to be about 1.5% and just based on the actual numbers it's closer to 5...5 1/2%."

Rubin is concerned because if the planning document is accepted as 'truth' by the state, it will form the basis for environmental mitigation measures for neighborhoods nearby.

"The problem with Logan Airport is that there is a significant amount of fine particulate matter, ultra-fine, which are these really small particles which can get really deep into our bodies and cause cardiovascular and respiratory damage," said Rubin.

Installing air filters on houses and buildings can block those particulates, but Rubin worries Massport won't be doing much of that. At least one school near Logan has already installed special air filters to cut the amount of those particulates students breathe in.

It's not just the planes Rubin is worried about, "We're seeing just a huge volume of ground transportation and Massport has an obligation to reduce the amount of cars and traffic that's coming to the airport."