Reaffirm commitment to soundproofing homes
Department of Transportation/Federal Aviation Administration
New England Region
12 New England Executive Park
Burlington, MA. 01803
ATTN: Allan Goldsher
Dear Mr. Goldsher:
We, the elected representatives of East Boston, an airport host community, are writing this letter to outline our concerns regarding the meeting at the Massachusetts State Transportation Building on May 18. We ask that the FAA reaffirm its commitment towards soundproofing homes, fully enforce the Head to Head operations, and improve engagement and communications with the community.
The FAA has committed to funding a soundproofing program for homes in our community. This program has proven to be the most effective and sought-after resource in mitigating noise resulting from airplane traffic at Logan Airport. In recent years, we believe the metrics used by the FAA to determine resource allocation to soundproofing has insufficiently measured the negative impact of noise pollution in our community. As a result, the funding for soundproofing has decreased as the demand has risen. We ask that the FAA refine its metrics and include resident demand as a significant factor in its resource allocation for this program.
In addition to increased resources for soundproofing, we wish to convey the importance of strictly enforcing the Head to Head operations system. The principles set forth in the Head to Head operations program are not consistently nor fully enforced. We have frequently engaged with the FAA to reaffirm their commitment to full enforcement, however, the results have been mixed at best. Exceptions to the Head to Head need to be fewer, and regulated by the existing rules.
Recognizing the significant impact Logan Airport has on the residents of East Boston, we are disappointed by the FAA’s poor community engagement. We too often hear from residents we represent who feel that they have no voice in regards to any of the FAA’s decisions. In comparison to its state counterpart, MassPort, the FAA has shown significantly less interest in establishing a relationship with the East Boston community. Additionally, the recent resignation of Sandra Kuntz from the Community Advisory Committee has left the panel of concerned citizens frustrated. Their demands for a formal runway use plan from the FAA have repeatedly been passed over despite having been mandated by Jane Garvey in 2002 with the construction of runway 14/32. The currently proposed runway use plan offers no airport noise abatement and calls for the process to be revisited have been unheeded.
Enforcing the flight paths is not simply a matter of resident preference. Several studies have shown a direct link between airplane pollution and decreased public health. In fact, a 2014 study conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health found that children living in high exposure areas were 3-4 times more likely to have astlm1a than other children living in low exposure areas. Among adults, the same was found to be true in regards to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The FAA’s responsibility in drawing flight patterns plays a direct and significant role in our residents’ lives. We urge the FAA to strictly follow existing guidelines.
Moving forward, we recognize Logan Airport as an integral part of our neighborhood landscape and we welcome the jobs it provides, along with the boost it has on our local economy. However, in order to preserve the interests of the Airport’s neighbors, our constituents, we are seeking the FAA to help in soundproofing residential homes, abide by agreed upon flight patterns, and increase their community involvement in East Boston. As we look to the future, we look forward to working with the FAA in aiding their host community.
Adrian C. Madaro