Correcting some misstatements
To the Editor,
I am writing to correct some misstatements of fact in the lead article of the East Boston Times on Sept. 21.
Massport is not currently constructing three gates that were previously permitted. The project that is underway will make three existing gates in Terminal E available to a new generation of larger aircraft, such as the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 747-800
The three gates that were previously permitted are part of the Terminal E modernization project which is undergoing permitting and will add seven additional gates to the terminal, or four that were not previously permitted.
This project will make the international terminal better prepared for the growing number of international passengers coming to Boston. Logan’s Terminal E has only had 12 gates since it opened in 1974.
José C. Massó III
Director of Community Relations, Massport
Paint a different picture
To the Editor,
The record paints a different picture than what was portrayed in the article “Eastie environmentalists dig in to oppose Terminal E expansion.’’ For example, the articles says “nearly one thousand members’’ of groups oppose the modernization of the terminal. But it is worth noting that as of Sept. 15 – the day after the publication of the article – there were 69 comment letters from individual East Boston residents and three other letters, two from Air Inc. and one from Neighbors United.
The article says residents want Massport to “slow down the process and engage in a better community process.’’ Yet Massport has had at least 16 meetings over the past year with the community to discuss the project and amending the parking freeze to add 5,000 spaces to the airport campus. The meetings were with the Massport CAC and the Logan Impact Advisory Group as well as five different neighborhood associations, Air Inc., and elected officials. Massport also extended the ENF comment period and the draft EIR comment period for this project to allow for more community comment.
Regarding the health study referenced in the article The Department of Public Health has looked into whether or not Logan contributed to asthma and COPD. There was no clear factor – there was an indication of undiagnosed asthma in some children and COPD in adults who lived in the area for three years or more. DPH recommended public health programming for residents focusing on asthma and COPD. DPH recommended no further study. Massport is working with neighborhood health groups and continues programs to reduce airport-related pollution. Furthermore, the Terminal E modernization is expected to reduce air emissions by reducing aircraft idle times.
The data for passenger and flight growth at Logan in the article was contained in the 2011 Logan Environmental Status and Planning Report, which was published before the Terminal E program was developed. Those flights will come with or without the project. The Terminal E modernization will not change the total number of flights expected, but it will improve how those flights are handled.
With respect to regional air space management, Massport acquired Worcester Regional Airport. In addition, the number of flights at Logan is about 20 percent lower than historic highs. Since 1990, passenger growth at Providence and Manchester increased by 100 percent, while Logan passenger growth was up 46 percent.
Lastly, Massport has worked diligently to expand mass transit options. Massport has spent close to $100 million in recent years on capital improvements to the Logan Express system and the Silver Line. Operating costs are another $10 million a year. While Logan passenger growth is up 46 percent from 1990, Logan Express seats are up almost 180 percent.