MassPort Community Advisory Committee

Many residents have contacted Senator Brownsberger with concerns about increased air traffic overhead as a result of the FAA’s RNAV system.

With the support of several colleagues in both branches of the legislature, Senator Brownsberger passed an amendment to the supplemental budget that added representatives for Arlington, Belmont, Watertown and other communities to the MassPort Community Advisory Committee.  A similar amendment was offered in the House by Representatives Hecht, Garbally and Rogers.  The Senate amendment was cosponsored by Senators Donnelly, Lovely, McGee and Joyce.

The MassPort CAC can 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 FAA 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.

Update 4/22/15:
This is the full list of communities represented on the CAC:
Arlington, Bedford, Belmont, Beverly, Braintree, Brookline, Cambridge, Canton, Chelsea, Cohasset, Concord, Everett, Hingham, Hull, Lexington, Lincoln, Lynn, Malden, Marblehead, Medford, Melrose, Milton, Nahant, Quincy, Randolph, Revere, Salem, Scituate, Somerville, Swampscott, Watertown, Weymouth, Winthrop and Worcester.

Andrew Bettinelli
Legislative Aide
Office of State Senator William N. Brownsberger

15 replies on “MassPort Community Advisory Committee”

  1. To Whom It May Concern:

    The airplane noise problem has gone from bad to worse! I constantly hear planes taking off over my part of Belmont and Watertown, essentially without interruption and at any hour. The noise is often loud enough to be unpleasant and disturbing All this, despite your office’s and other’s efforts to ameliorate the situation. I was under the impression there was a concerted effort to solve this problem and improvements were in order. I wrote to and receive a dismissive brush off from the Port Authority. This is disrespectful and unconscionable. Something has to be done, and without further delay, as the summer approaches and windows have to be open. What are we living around, a military air base?

    Thanks, NJK

    1. One of our Google group members alerted me about your post. We started a group in Belmont that was called QuietBelmont but we just changed names and we are now Boston West Fair Skies (you can find more info by visiting our newly finished website I just uploaded and it includes Arlington-Belmont-Cambridge-Watertown. What town do you live in? Adriana

  2. Thank you Senator Brownsberger and all your staff (e.g., Andrew Bettinelli) for taking steps that will help reduce/mitigate the concentrated noise that Belmont and surrounding communities are being subjected to on account of the current FAA’s RNAV system.

  3. This is great news Will! The noise was awful this past weekend with low overflights starting at 6am on Saturday, woke us up. Noise also heard late Sunday evening.
    Thanks again,
    Nayla Rathle

  4. I would like to know what flight path the 4 engine jumbo airliner was using when it flew over my house last Saturday afternoon. This was not the typical 2 engine Airbus A320’s that we see flying overhead non-stop one after another about 2 minutes apart. I have lived in Watertown for over 50 years and I have never seen an airliner pass overhead at such a low altitude. It was enormous and a little concerning to see. I honestly thought for a few moments that something was wrong. It was heading north in a direction I have never seen on take before. Things are definitely changing at Logan.

    1. Thanks, Dean. I know it was bad this weekend.

      I might be able to get more information on the flight you ask about if you could provide a more precise time and other details. I am happy to try.

      1. Hi Will,
        The large airliner that I saw on Saturday 4/18 approached from the SW and was heading NW in the early afternoon. It was most likely a Boeing 747 or similar sized aircraft. It was traveling at a very low speed and lumbered overhead as it passed. In my estimation, it was flying at less than 1/2 the altitude that I usually observe. I found this to be very unusual since almost all the passing aircraft over Belmont and Watertown turn from the E and head SW at a much higher altitude. Has there been an additional new flight path added?

          1. Hello Dean,

            MassPort was able to tell me that there were 2 “go arounds” executed by 747s on 4/18/15. My understanding is that this procedure is essentially an aborted landing. If the pilot has any concerns with the approach, be it weather, conditions in the air or conditions on the ground, the pilot can abort the landing. The pilot will pull up and circle the area and come back in for a second attempt. When the pilot circles, they often do it at a lower altitude and speed than the planes that you usually see from 33L departures. This is the likely culprit for the large airliner that you saw over your house but without an exact time we’ll never know for sure.

            Hope this helps!

            Andrew Bettinelli
            Legislative Aide
            Office of State Senator William N. Brownsberger

            1. Thank you for the follow up. I am relieved to learn that there are no new additional flight paths in use over Watertown and the surrounding communities. A go around pass is most likely what I saw occurring. I hope the runway repairs are completed very soon and traffic patterns can ease.

  5. It seems that anything to do with an Authority in this state is in an advisory role. Why are these creatures (Authorities) given so much power over the citizenry. Try doing something legislatively to give more power the “advisory” committees.

  6. I’m in North Cambridge, not technically in your district (anymore) but we are really tortured by this. It’s been loud all winter (and my house is super insulated) but it was really bad this weekend.

    Can you elaborate on who the “other communities” are that will be represented by this amendment? I haven’t discovered this info any where else.


  7. Hi Will. Thanks for all this info. Just wanted to let you know this is affecting us in Brighton too – we are close to the river near the Watertown line.

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