East Boston activists are asking Massport to be a partner in putting pressure on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure certain runways are being used as promised following numerous complaints over the summer from Eagle Hill residents.
At last week’s Eagle Hill Civic Association meeting, residents raised the issue to Massport officials that it seems like Runway 15/33 is being over-used and flights departing from the runway and over Eagle Hill are impacting the quality of life for hundreds of citizens.
While Massport’s Flavio Leo said this past summer was unusually cool and with the wind patterns over the summer months forcing more flights to take off from 15/33, activists like Chris Marchi, a member of East Boston AirInc., said there was a deal between the community and the FAA not to increase operations over Eagle Hill.
“Our focus here in on the FAA and as Flavio said it is not up to Massport on when and where planes take off,” said Marchi. “People here can remember the fight against Runway 14/32 and at the time there was a fear prior that Massport and the FAA would try to build two parallel runways. While that plan was scrapped 14/32 was one degree off from 15/33 and the community still fought the construction of that runway.”
Marchi said that at the time when the courts lifted the injunction on the construction of runway 14/32 the community wanted some concessions made to ensure the construction of that runway did not increase capacity on other runways.
“One solution was making 14/32 a unidirectional/wind restricted runway,” said Marchi. “The other, which was written into the Record of Decision and the Environmental Impact Statements of the time that the construction of 14/32 would not allow for an increase in operations over Eagle Hill with the use of 15/33.”
Marchi said the deal at the time was to keep 15/33 at the pre 2000 levels.
“The fact is that in 2000 15/33 represented 5 to 7 percent of the total operations at Logan,” said Marchi. “However, since 2007 that number has increased to 15 percent so the fears we had here in Eagle Hill have seemed to come true because the runway is being used more and there are more flights over Eagle Hill than there were prior to 14/32 being built.” Marchi said he sees this as the FAA not being in compliance with the deal they made with the community nearly a decade ago. Leo said that Massport is currently working with the FAA to discuss the matter.