Massport, FAA announce plans to study noise surrounding Logan

BOSTON — After years of the constant roar of planes overhead, some local towns may finally be a small step closer to getting some relief.

On Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration and Massport agreed to study airplane noise from jets flying into Logan after thousands of complaints from residents in several communities.

The collaboration -- we're told -- is the first in the nation to help address overflight noise.

It's a big problem for many people who live under the flight paths -- one FOX25 has been reporting on for several years.

The two government agencies announced Friday they are testing new flight patterns in and out of Logan airport to cut down on airplane noise.

“This is not a panacea,” Massport CEO Thomas Glynn said. “It's not going to address all the issues raised, but it's a very important step forward."

New flight pattern changes have planes taking a more condensed, narrow approach into the runway.

The FAA says the system is much more fuel efficient and cuts down on travel time. But in some cases, more than 500 flights a day are roaring over some neighborhoods.

“When a plane would come over my house, pick a number, every 20 minutes. Now, because of the narrowing it comes over my house every five minutes," Rep. Michael Capuano said.

Massport and the FAA are teaming up with researchers from MIT to study the noise problem and analyze new traffic patterns.

The three tests they are looking at include:

  1. Having more flights fly over ocean
  2. Make planes fly higher over communities
  3. Change the frequency of flights

Congressman Steven Lynch, whose district includes many communities in the flight path, is hopeful, but skeptical, about the agreement.

“You don't need an MIT engineer to figure out putting all those planes over that narrow band of houses is a bad thing," Rep. Lynch said.

Lynch promised to bring the FAA to court if the agreement is not acted upon in an effective way.

“That class-action suit is going to be joined by a lot of my colleagues in the House and Senate, whose cities are being similarly affected and we're going to undo this whole system," said Lynch.

Massport and the FAA did not give a specific timeline to when the study will be finished, but they anticipate within a year.