Previous to RNAV implementation our towns experienced little to no airplane noise. The paths were fanned out which resulted in a fair distribution of noise between our towns.
After RNAV flight paths were implemented for departures from runway 33L in June of 2013 - our communities woke up to an unbearable situation - never have we imagined we will have to deal with such airplane traffic over our homes when before we had none!
Click here for the complete the FAA's official document, containing 255 pages of procedures that were followed prior to implementing the RNAV procedures at 33L.
On a day with northwest winds the repetitive noise can be debilitating for those of us working from our homes or trying to relax in our back yards on a beautiful weekend.
Each town in the coalition has a Logan CAC (Community Advisory Committee) representative. These are public officials that represent us in negotiations with Massport (Massachusetts Port Authority) and FAA. For a complete list of CAC reps and alternates check the Take Action page.
In the case of 33L RNAV which places concentrated flight paths over Arlington, Belmont, North Cambridge and Watertown - the FAA followed a prescribed process which included conducting a NEPA-mandated Environmental Assessment (EA). This EA included before-and-after noise calculations based on computer models. These models concluded that based on how "significant impact" is defined, that the changes would not cause noise levels that would violate their established rules. These rules and metrics have been in use since the '80's and are based on a metric called DNL (day-night noise average).
The EA was published for public comment in 2013 and meetings were held with Legislators and the Logan CAC. Over 384 comments, mostly of concern, were submitted by officials, legislators an the public. Those concerns were responded to with a perfunctory response that the FAA's EA and noise modeling did not find a "significant impact" and therefore did not constitute a reason to deny the changes. There was no proactive outreach to previously unaffected communities such as Belmont and Watertown who did not have representation on the Logan CAC. In May of 2013 the FAA issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and Record of Decision (ROD) justifying their implementation of 33L RNAV. These new procedures were implemented in mid-June of 2013.
The real life result: the noise complaints in Belmont alone spiked from 0 pre-implementation to 1,600 a year post-implementation (2014).
DNL is widely recognized as being inadequate to be used in assessing NextGen-related changed such as RNAV. RNAV shifts and concentrates noise to narrow paths that dramatically change the impact from being shared by many to now being directed to a few residents and neighborhoods. Looking at RNAV-impact through a lens of DNL and regional averages does not take into consideration the increase in repetitive noise events.
We are now actively engaged in supporting the efforts of our CAC Representatives to get the FAA to reexamine the true impact of 33L RNAV.
Boston West Fair Skies
One of our members has stepped down from this position recently. We are looking for a new contact person.
Adriana is the founder of the group. She maintains the website and is one of the Google group's moderators.
GO TO OUR NEW "ACTION ITEM TODAY" PAGE TO SEE IF THERE IS AN URGENT ACTION YOU CAN TAKE NOW
Medford, MA 02153
Michael is our Facebook chair. His focus is to direct Medford's officials to the RNAV noise problem.
Winchester, MA 01890
Ann has joined the Steering Committee in fall 2017. She hopes to energize the Winchester members and work with the local officials.
We encourage all residents to keep filing complaints with Massport either electronically at: http://www.massport.com/environment/environmental-reporting/noise-abatement/noise-complaints/ or by calling noise complaint line at
617-561-3333. DO NOT EXPECT A CHANGE DUE TO THE COMPLAINS. THESE ARE ONLY A RECORD KEEPING TOOL TO SHOW IMPACT. In addition, make sure to pay attention to the action items we post periodically and participate. Remember - this is a marathon not a sprinter race!
We need to keep applying pressure to our elected officials at home and in Washington. The complete contact list for all our officials can be found on the Take Action page. At times we will send an appeal via email regarding a certain window frame when we need to increase the letters volume. Please help us achieve our goals by writing those letters when needed. Thank you.
Keep checking your emails, come to meetings, read our updates on the website and make sure you have the latest information. We work on making progress and any change that relieves the noise is a step forward but we need constant backup from all of you, the people affected by RNAV. We also need to constantly get educated about the RNAV issues. We can't advocate effectively unless we are knowledgeable and suggest solutions that are possible within the FAA's working frame.
04.Last but not least - follow the MIT study.
We need to stay informed AND BE PATIENT, keep pressure to make sure block 2 is being finalized and when the results are presented, advocate with the FAA, Massport and officials to have those changes implemented. Block 2 is a more complicated project and will take much longer to be tackled by the MIT team.
We have eleven members in the Steering Committee. They are from Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge, Medford and Somerville. We are looking forward to getting representation from the other towns in the coalition.
The Steering Committee is involved in organizing our activities and planning short and long term strategies.
Each of us is responsible for various parts of our operations. We have a Facebook chair, a noise monitor project chair, an outreach chair, a "Find Your Legislator" team of two chairs, a meeting-venues booking chair, a PR -media contact chair.
Anyone interested is welcome to join us. We can always use more help. Please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tara Ten Eyck
Somerville, MA 02144
Tara brings great energy to the team and is working like Michael to bring our issue to Somerville's officials.
DC is working on improving the group's visibility in online outlets and social media.