Why am I hearing planes when I didn’t before?

Noise over Milton, MA
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Contributed by Amy Zahler, Milton Resident.

While discussion about airplane noise over Milton has been moved to the grassroots Facebook page, I want to alert my fellow Milton Neighbors, particularly those in on the WEST SIDE OF TOWN who may not have been concerned about this issue in the past, to an important development in the flight patterns and subsequent noise level on our side of town.

If you have noticed increased airplane noise over your neighborhood in the last week or so, here’s why (and it’s going to continue):

The runway 4R (which sends flights generally over East Milton) has been closed for repair and a modified RNAV landing procedure on runway 4L (which sends flights over West Milton) is in use. This means more flights are coming over the western side of town in a more concentrated pathway, very close together, and for long periods of time – creating a lot more noise than before. Previously, this noise primarily troubled our neighbors on the eastern side of Milton, as shown below on this noise map:

Extracted from the US Department of Transportation's noise map, this image shows the impact of the runways over Milton. Noise levels are shown lightest to darkest, yellow to red/pink.

Extracted from the US Department of Transportation’s noise map, this image shows the impact of the runways over Milton. Noise levels are shown lightest to darkest, yellow to red/pink.

While this is supposedly a temporary change until runway 4R is repaired, it appears that Massport/FAA is actually running a study now to determine if they can continue using this approach on a permanent basis.

Here’s a noise map that shows current noise patterns and what might happen to our area if the 4L RNAV is approved for regular use. Things could definitely get worse…

 

Artist rendering of new RNAV noise path over Milton

Artist rendering of new RNAV noise path over Milton

This issue may not have impacted you before, but there is a very real possibility that it could impact you now or soon. And just like with our East Milton neighbors, it will be permanent.

If you would like more info and would like to help support fair air traffic distribution over Milton and other towns, please join the grassroots Facebook group. Now is a great time to join because the group is, this week, forming into an organized non-profit, complete with a board and committees.

On the group’s pinned post are links to the (super easy) online form for filing Noise Complaints, as well the Complaint Hotline phone number, as well as additional information on what you can do to fight for fair air traffic distribution.

During this temporary change in runway use, the number of complaints submitted is very important and could have an impact on future decisions about flights over Milton!

Easy action steps you can take today include:

  1. Call and register a noise/sleep deprivation/pollution complaint with Massport:  617-561-3333
  2. File a a noise/sleep deprivation/pollution complaint with Massport online: www.massport.com/environment/environmental-reporting/noise-abatement/noise-complaints/
  3. Sign the petition for fair air traffic distribution in the region: www.miltonscene.com/sign-the-milton-ma-air-traffic-petition-to-end-abusive-aircraft-noise-and-air-pollution/
  4. Join the grassroots Facebook group for fair air traffic distribution: https://www.facebook.com/groups/fairskiesnation/

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