History and Achievements
Due to the proximity of Logan to residential communities throughout the Greater Boston Metropolitan area, Massport has been continually working to minimize the impacts of noise on the surrounding neighbors since 1975.
Logan was one of the first airports in the nation to install a noise monitoring system in communities, which is now used to direct Massport’s aggressive noise abatement efforts.
In 1976, Massport first instituted noise rules regarding runway use and limited night flights during the sensitive nighttime hours between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. The rules also constricted the type of aircraft that could be operational to the quietest class of commercial jet aircraft available. The largest source of noise reduction in recent years has resulted from the phase-out of older, noisier “Stage 2” aircraft. For over a decade, Massport’s rules banned late night Stage 2 flights. Massport pioneered new rules, which allowed the rest of the country to follow their examples in 1999, when federal regulations went into effect against these aircraft. Stage 2 aircraft now are a negligible percent of operations at Logan. Since 1999, the number of Stage 2 operations at Logan has dropped from 36,865 flights per year to 33 flights per year, (the federal rule only applies to aircraft weighing more than 75,000 pounds). All areas around Logan Airport have benefited from the continued grounding of these planes as air carriers and cargo operators modernize their fleets in compliance with FAA mandates.
Massport also has been aggressive at discouraging the use of Stage 3 "hush kitted" aircraft. These planes just barely made the FAA mandated noise cut off. In 2011, 99% of commercial jet activity was "new" Stage 3 and 4 aircraft (the quietest jets), up from 75% in 2000. Some of this fleet improvement was due to Massport's proactive work with air carriers such as Delta and US Airways, who replaced their noisy shuttle fleet (about 22,000 flights per year before 2001) with state of the art Boeing 737-800 and Airbus 319/320 aircraft; and some resulted from the retirement of many re-certified Stage 3 aircraft after 2001.
Massport’s Noise Abatement Office was formally established in 1977 to implement these noise rules. The office helped the FAA and Logan air carriers analyze how airport noise affected local communities so that steps could be taken to further reduce the airport’s impact on surrounding residents. The office maintained a 24-hour noise report line that allowed Logan’s neighbors to report excessive airport noise. The noise report line number is 617-561-3333.
In 1981, Logan became the first airport in the nation to receive a grant from the FAA to test the benefits of soundproofing in public schools. Massport began soundproofing East Boston High School, which became the first public soundproofed school under this pilot program. This pilot program led Massport to begin soundproofing. Since the initial launch in 1983 of the soundproofing program, more than $170 million has been spent on over 11,000 dwelling units and 36 schools.
Boston Logan Airport Study
Currently, the FAA, Massport and the Community Advisory Committee (a volunteer organization representing over 30 communities surrounding Logan) are participating in a joint Boston Logan Airport Noise Study. The Study is being conducted in three Phases. Phase 3, currently underway, is to look for opportunities to balance the use of Logan’s runways and reduce persistent noise over communities. For more details on the entire study and the most current information please refer to the Study website link: http://www.bostonoverflight.com/index.aspx