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Public forum in Milton tonight on Logan airplane noise

View from Deer Island of a passenger jet taking off from Logan Airport.PAT GREENHOUSE/GLOBE STAFF

A public forum is scheduled Thursday night in Milton to address the skyrocketing number of complaints about airplane noise since new GPS-generated flight paths at Logan Airport took effect.

The meeting will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Milton High School auditorium at 25 Gile Road.

The Federal Aviation Administration has said the Next/Gen satellite-based navigation system is designed to decrease jet fuel consumption and increase safety by making the sky routes more efficient. But critics say the narrower skyways unfairly burden the homes below with a constant barrage of sound and vibration.

The affected areas include Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge, Somerville, and a number of south suburbs, including Milton and Hull.


From January through September of 2015, more than 11,000 airplane noise complaints were logged by the Massachusetts Port Authority, which operates Logan — with nearly 2,000 coming from Milton and almost 900 from Hull.

For the same time period in 2012, before the Next/Gen system was implemented, there were fewer than 1,700 complaints altogether — with 81 from Milton and 11 from Hull.

Congressman Stephen Lynch, whose district includes Milton, Hull, and other communities under the Logan flight paths, said he's received so many complaints and has gotten so little satisfaction from the FAA that he's scheduled the Dec. 3 forum with the agency to air the controversy.

Lynch said he understood that the new flight paths increased fuel efficiency and "the industry is probably saving a lot of money by having these planes fly the optimum route." But he said the resulting concentration of planes in a narrow swath of the sky is causing both mental and physical health problems for those below the new flight paths and hurting their quality of life.

"Some of these agencies, including the FAA, are very insulated and don't get out and meet with the people who are affected by their decisions," Lynch said. "Hopefully, we can cure that."


FAA spokesman Jim Peters said the flight paths are part of a congressionally mandated, nationwide program "that is modernizing the nation's air traffic control system to make it even safer, greener, and more efficient."

He said the program reduces air traffic delays and cuts the amount of fuel used by aircraft, and as a result reduces carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

The FAA is working with Massport and the Logan Airport Community Advisory Committee to develop a runway-use system that will provide relief from noise while adhering to FAA safety and operational requirements, Peters said.

Massport officials also will attend the forum that Lynch organized, according to spokeswoman Jennifer Mehigan. "The airport and the FAA have worked together to reduce noise in communities, and we will continue to do so," she said.

Johanna Seltz can be reached at