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City Councilors to Massport and FAA: Plane Noise is ‘Unbearable’

Much to the frustration of Jamaica Plain residents and those in other Boston neighborhoods, there has been a noticeable increase in airplane noise in recent months. Several Boston city councilors recently wrote a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration and Massport to express their own concerns, as well as their constituents’ reported vexation.

Seven city councilors representing Jamaica Plain, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roslindale and West Roxbury penned the letter to Amy Lind Corbett, the regional administrator of the New England region for the FAA, and Thomas Glynn, CEO of Massport.

“Nearly every morning, planes begin to fly overhead at or before 6 a.m. and often continue essentially non-stop for hours at a time. This can negatively impact an individual’s sleeping pattern, acuity, and quality of life,” says the letter.

The seven city councilors who signed the letter included three district councilors: District 6 City Councilor Matt O’Malley, District 5 City Councilor Tim McCarthy and District 4 City Councilor Andrea Campbell; and all four at-large councilors: City Council President Michelle Wu, Ayanna Pressley, Michael Flaherty and Annissa Essaibi-George.

The councilors fully acknowledge that airplane noise is to be expected in a city with an airport, but they contend the “changes to and narrow concentration of flight paths have made airplane noise in the neighborhoods unbearable.”

Frustrated constituent calls regarding “unbearable noise” have increased, says the letter. The letter also states that the councilors own complaints have fallen upon deaf ears and been “ignored by the controlling authorities.” The councilors added they hope the letter is the first step in “igniting a push from all relevant persons, groups, and agencies to find effective solution for communities.”

The letter also states an MIT study currently being undertaken will hopefully help in making the situation better and “…accurately reflect the suffering from neighbors and produce proposals that mitigate noise and return our neighborhoods to the previously tolerable levels of noise production.”

While many constituents have complained to Boston city councilors, the FAA and Massport, they have also taken to Facebook groups dedicated to discussing their frustrations: Boston South Fair Skies and Fair Skies Nation. The pages include researched articles about the health detriments of airplane noise, whom to contact about their frustrations and more.

Boston South Fair Skies is also holding an organizing community meeting tonight, Thursday, Sept. 21, at the Roslindale Community Center (6 Cummins Highway, Roslindale) at 6:30 p.m.