Logan Noise Study

Plane from Logan Airport

The City of Cambridge has long been active in the issue of airplane noise as it affects Cambridge and the region. The City participates in the Massport Community Advisory Committee, which was created by the state legislature to avoid MassPort on all issues related to their operations and facilities. Through this forum, the City is participating in the study to identify ways to reduce noise coming from Logan Airport and devise changes to airport flight patterns and procedures so that fewer people in the greater Boston area are affected by overflight noise.

The City also has a seat on the Massport Community Advisory Committee and collaborates closely with the towns of Arlington, Belmont, and Watertown to address airplane noise concerns.

Recent Updates

MIT RNAV Study

After the implementation of new electronic waypoint and area navigation (RNAV) procedures by the FAA and Massport in 2014, flight paths off Logan’s runway 33L became more concentrated over parts of north and west Cambridge. This resulted in increased noise for residents in those neighborhoods. In response, several communities near Cambridge worked together to raise this problem with Massport and the FAA. This resulted in the FAA initiating a study through Massport and conducted by MIT, to review flight path alternatives that would break up the concentration of noise so that it is more fairly spread around communities to the North and West of the airport .

This study is the first of its kind in the nation, with MIT experts analyzing how to mitigate the results of area navigation technology. Because it is a pioneering study, the process has taken more time than anticipated. The MCAC hopes that the FAA will finish the study as soon as possible and make recommendations before fall 2019. A community meeting in Cambridge will be scheduled once the proposals from the study are formally available and data is provided. 

View MIT's presentation to the Massport CAC here.

For more information on the study please see the MassPort website and MassPort Community Advisory Committee website.

Resources

In May 2013 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released the Environmental Assessment for the Boston-Logan International Airport Runway 33L Area Navigation (RNAV) Standard Instrument Departure (SID). The City of Cambridge submitted comments on this study which you can find here.

Noise complaints

If you have a question or concern about aviation-related noise at Boston Logan, please complete Massport’s on-line form. First-time users will have to register on the portal before submitting their initial complaint. You may also call Massport’s Noise Complaint Line at 617/561-3333. This line is staffed by Massport’s Noise Abatement Office from 6:00 A. M. to 5:00 P. M. on business days. Calls during off hours, weekends and holidays, utilize an automated Noise report/message line for the Noise Abatement staff by calling 617/561-3333.

For answers to some of Massport’s most frequently asked questions, please check out the Noise FAQ’s. You may also find it helpful to read about How Logan Operates.

When a complaint is reported, the date and time are researched and a response is generated- typically within 3 to 4 weeks. The report will normally include information (e.g., aircraft operations, altitude relative to complainant’s address, meteorological information, runways in use and background information if appropriate). There are limits to the type of information can be provided for non-Logan Flights, such as helicopters and small propeller aircraft. Please note that repetitious e-mails within a very short time period will be treated as one general report of noise disturbance.

Track Flights with Flight Monitor

Massport provides a near live flight track display tool called Flight Monitor. This function can help residents identify flights that may impact their neighborhood.

For More Information

For more information contact Bill Deignan at 617/349-4632 or wdeignan@cambridgema.gov.