Logan Noise Study
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.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates air traffic at Logan Airport and other major airports. If you have issues, questions, or concerns regarding air traffic noise, please contact the FAA's Aviation Noise Ombudsman for New England, Reginald Davis, at email@example.com or 781-238-7400.
Aviation Noise e-newsletter
- Sign up here to receive email updates on aviation noise in Cambridge, particularly updates from the ongoing study by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Massport, and MIT to review and analyze alternatives to spread out noise from concentrated flight paths.
Comment Submission on FAA Noise Policy Review
Cambridge submitted comments to FAA on its Noise Policy Update to share its ideas on updating noise policies for improved public health and reduced impact from airplane noise in Cambridge.
The Massport Citizens Advisory Committee, which Cambridge is a member of, also submitted its comments to FAA on the Noise Policy update.
FAA Noise Policy Review
As part of the review, FAA is :
- Looking at our current use of DNL or Day-Night Average Sound Level as the primary noise metric for assessing cumulative aircraft noise exposure.
- Reviewing whether to continue to use the DNL 65 dB level as the metric and threshold for determining significant noise impacts in environmental reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act or the definition of the limit of residential land use compatibility.
- Considering if and how alternative noise metrics may be used in lieu of or in addition to DNL to better inform agency decisions and improve FAA’s disclosure of noise impacts.
MIT RNAV Study
The Noise Study is now complete and FAA and is in process of implementing the few recommendations that came out of the 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 .
View MIT's initial presentation to the Massport CAC here.
In 2021, MIT proposed a modified flight path for take-offs from runway 33L that added an additional leg for planes that would route some planes over central Somerville and Porter Square area in Cambridge. Cambridge and other nearby communities did not think that this proposal did enough to equitably spread out noise so that a few areas would be burdened with airplane noise. Cambridge and most other communities in the MassPort CAC voted against recommending this proposal to FAA. The FAA has not yet responded with next steps.
For more information on the study please see the MassPort website and MassPort Community Advisory Committee website.
City of Cambridge Submits Comments on FAA Airport Noise Survey
In 2021, the FAA conducted a survey of residents surrounding 20 airports across the country and presented results from the survey showing that annoyance from airplane noise has increased markedly since the last survey in the 1970s. For more details, click here. In response to the FAA Register request for input on the survey results, the City of Cambridge submitted comments that can be viewed here. The Boston Globe published an article on March 27, 2021 with findings from the FAA survey and response from legislators.
Inaugural Boston Logan International Airport Fly Quiet Report
The Fly Quiet Report presents data collected by Massport’s Noise and Operations Monitoring System (NOMS) for the first quarter of 2019 (January 1 through March 31). The report was developed in response to requests from the Massachusetts Port Authority Community Advisory Committee, and consists of four components:
- Component 1: Airline Fleet Composition and Noise Rating
- Component 2: Flight Track Monitoring
- Component 3: Noise Monitor Aircraft Noise Event Reports
- Component 4: Weather and Runway Usage
Presentation on RNAV Airplane Study to Cambridge City Council
On October 15, 2019, an update on the RNAV Airplane Study was given the Cambridge City Council Health & Environment Committee. View the presentation here.
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.
To issue a noise complaint online for 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 FAQs. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.