Swampscott opposes increased air traffic over town

SWAMPSCOTT – The city government is voicing its opposition to proposed changes to Logan Airport that would result in increased air traffic over the city’s coastal residents.

Alice Stein, the city’s representative on the Massachusetts Port Authority (MassPort) Community Advisory Committee, said at a board meeting on Wednesday that the airport had received recommendations from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to move 25% of inbound flights so that they fly over the Nahant. pavement. While the change is aimed at increasing both efficiency and fairness, Stein said, it will also increase traffic and noise in the city.

“You’ve probably heard of Milton and Hyde Park. They have a lot of problems with traffic overhead. They are constantly inundated with overhead planes, ”said Stein. “They are, in my opinion, the worst case scenario. We’re not here, and my concern… is that I don’t want Swampscott here.

Stein explained that inbound flights use a process called area navigation, more commonly known as RNAV, to navigate to the airport using navigation beacons. The MIT study shows a more efficient flight path for pilots and reduces noise for some surrounding communities, but does so at the expense of Swampscott.

Some board members said they saw no reason why the flight path couldn’t be changed slightly so that the planes would fly over the water instead of the Swampscott coast.

“I see fairness for Nahant, the causeway, on which no one lives,” said Chairman of the Board Peter Spellios. “I see fairness for Marblehead, the water, which no one lives on, and I see fairness for Lynn, which will now be primarily Lynn’s water. Swampscott is the one who is on the side of creating fairness at the expense of others.

MassPort has scheduled until September for communities to provide feedback on the proposed changes. The Select Board said it would draft a letter to MassPort expressing its concerns, which would be sent by the end of the month.

City administrator Sean Fitzgerald noted that the negative impacts of air traffic are not limited to noise, but also include air quality and environmental concerns.

“There has to be a serious understanding of how all of these evils are going to be imposed on this densely populated community, our children and our families,” Fitzgerald said. “It doesn’t present itself in a way that makes it seem like it was meant to be.”

Tréa Lavery can be reached at [email protected]

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Peter Spellios is one of the many residents of Swampscott who are unhappy with MassPort’s talks about rerouting planes to fly over the city. (Spenser R. Hasak)

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