Noise Alert: Belmont Will Have a Voice on New MassPort Committee

Photo: Air traffic at Logan Airport. 

Belmont, along with Watertown and Arlington, will now have a seat on a new regional committee which will advise the operator of the airports in Boston, Bedford and Worcester on matters such as noise and air quality control. 

But it took a bit of legislative back tracking for the communities to be put on the committee.

With the support of several colleagues in both branches of the legislature, State Sen. Will Brownsberger passed an amendment to the supplemental budget adding representatives from the three town onto the MassPort Community Advisory Committee (MassPort CAC).

The Massport CAC is planning its first meeting later in the spring.

Residents have expressed their frustration on the growing amount of air traffic noise over the community since the Federal Aviation Authority re-routed air traffic patterns in which aircraft taking off from Boston’s Logan Airport proceeded over Belmont.

The Massachusett legislature voted to establish the Massport CAC in 2013 which will supersede the Logan Community Advisory Committee, which was created in 2002 as part of the Boston Logan Airport Noise Study and is about to end.

But when the MassPort CAC was created two years ago, Belmont, Arlington and Watertown were not included in the original list of represented communities. 

That misstep was rectified last week through the work of Brownsberger and State Reps Dave Rogers, Jonathan Hecht and Sean Garballey.

The MassPort CAC will be able to make recommendations to the governor and legislature, hold hearings, make recommendations to the MassPort Board of Directors and appoint a member to the MassPort Board.  

Although the Federal Aviation Authority has control over air traffic, MassPort controls airport operations and “the inclusion of Arlington, Belmont and Watertown on the CAC will ensure that our communities have a seat at the table,” said Brownsberger’s Legislative Aide Andrew Bettinelli.

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  1. April Bradshaw says

    My first recommendations would be:
    to require plane to reach the same cruising altitude as they are in L.A. within the first 3 miles of take off. This requirement was apparently made “illegal”/impossible to implement in other areas via regulation loopholes, regulations, etc
    2) implement the sound proofing program to ANY resident in the flight path who experiences noise above 18 for more than 30 days per year. Currently they “annualized” the data, which makes it IMPOSSIBLE to have the program extended to Belmont, Watertown, etc. Right now only homes within the 5mile radius are eligible and IF they agree to place a noise monitor on the property (they will suggest the lowest/most protected area so it also decreases the reading…). Are you catching on here?!
    3) require them to call the tower and shift the pattern if more than 5 households from the same area call the noise abatement line. Every single plane does not need to be over the exact same area ALL Night from 8pm-12 and restart at 4/5 am…… (As they fly over every 2 minutes as I type!!)

    Time to organize across all communities as a united front as opposed to just pushing it out to the next town. This will need to be grassroots as their process and regulations are not designed to help those impacted (see above about sound proofing!).

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