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Milton citizens group hopes to alter Logan departure route

Posted by Dave Eisenstadter  June 14, 2013 04:33 PM

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Fed up with flights over Milton, some residents are making a plan to persuade the Federal Aviation Administration to reverse a decision to establish a departure corridor above the town.

The Milton Citizens Committee on Aviation Impacts met Thursday evening in the basement of the Town Hall, along with representatives from other communities affected by the recent change.

Sheryl Fleitman, a cochair of the committee, went through a presentation about the new flight path, which brings departures from the 33-L runway at Logan Airport above Milton.

The route is a one-mile-wide condensed flight path, which went into effect this month.

“Basically, it’s just a highway in the sky,” Fleitman said.

Two such paths already exist over Milton, according to the committee’s research – flights from runways 4 and 27. In the past two years, Milton experienced a 21 percent increase in airplane arrivals on Runway 4 alone, according to the committee’s presentation.

One of the committee’s objectives is to disperse the flights so that more towns share the burden of noise and environmental effects.

They plan to make use of the FAA’s 30- to 60-day comment period. The flight path will have a six-month trial period from June to December before it becomes permanent.

The presentation addressed grievances including increased air traffic, noise at night, environmental concerns, and a lack of monitoring for the noise.

Frank Parker, who previously was involved in a route redirection that affected Hull and Hingham, said a more effective argument was related to safety rather than noise.

“There are around 9,689 students in schools [in Milton],” he said. “The number of planes flying over such a crowded area only adds to the risk of… the possibility of a disaster taking place.”

Committee member Cindy Christiansen said she thought Curry College students were not counted in the Milton population to determine the number of people who would be affected by the route change.

Committee members asked the 30 or so people who attended the meeting to get more involved with the committee.

Philip Johenning, another committee member, said the committee also needed to make political connections.

“There are enough political people in this town… we need your help in getting political clout behind this committee,” Johenning said. “I believe the reason why Hull and Hingham were successful was leaders and state representatives and congressmen and school committees got behind them.”

The full presentation

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