Letter to the Editor

SST Threatens East Boston, Winthrop, Revere, Chelsea, et al Again!

To the Editor,

Many years after the Concorde SST was mothballed due to insurmountable extreme environmental, safety and financial issues it appears that Logan Airport’s densely populated surrounding communities (East Boston, Winthrop, Revere, Chelsea, South Boston, et al) are once again threatened by the emergence of another SST project sponsored by Boom Technology and under purchase agreement to United Airlines. Boom Technology’s objective is to complete a full-size, 88 passenger version SST by 2029 according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

I well remember experiencing the Concorde’s flights at Logan Airport in the 1970’s, 1999 and 2003. The thunderous, ear-splitting takeoff noise was caused by the Concorde’s military-like afterburning engines which were required to accelerate it to its abnormally high takeoff speed of 250 mph, compared to 185 mph for a 747. The SST’s high takeoff speed necessitated very long runway lengths.

The SST was notorious for its sonic booms which were so disruptive to normal activities that the SSTs were prohibited from overland supersonic flight. It should be noted that even the Concorde’s overwater flights were not without consequences. For example, it was standard procedure for SST pilots flying at 60,000 feet to warn other aircraft at lower altitudes of the approaching sonic boom. The SSTs were also notorious for their contribution to ozone layer depletion.

While the current Massport Noise Rules include a provision that prohibits SST operations at Logan Airport, thanks to the leadership of former Senator Mario Umana who spearheaded the legislation, it is imperative that every effort be made to eliminate all federal funding for SST development.

John Vitagliano

Member, Winthrop Airport Hazards


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