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The Boston Globe



Too much airplane noise? Towns should wait and listen

To save fuel and limit pollution, the Federal Aviation Administration is streamlining its air traffic patterns around the country. At close-in Logan Airport, the rerouting of thousands of flights per week is already raising concerns in some neighborhoods. This is a perennial problem: Airport noise has been a source of passionate protests dating back more than 40 years. But today’s angry neighbors should wait and listen before raising sweeping objections: The current generation of airliners is far less noisy than its predecessors, and the FAA is confident that the towns most heavily impacted by the change in flight patterns won’t notice much of a difference.

One of the new flight paths for planes taking off to the north will include a quick left turn that would send more air traffic over a relatively narrow swath of Dedham and Milton, where neighbors are aggressively petitioning against the change. But by the time the flights reach that corridor, they will already be at 10,000 feet, a height at which relatively little noise can be heard on the ground, according to the FAA.

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