Watertown joins in concern over jet noise

Watertown officials are investigating overhead airplane noise after a new flight path at Logan International Airport has caused planes to fly directly over the town and surrounding communities in recent months, according to a town councilor.

The Town Council’s Committee on State, Federal and Regional Government will hold a meeting Monday at 7 p.m. in Town Hall to discuss an increase in low-flying planes that the committee’s chairwoman, Angeline Kounelis, says has left her house shaking at all hours of the day this fall.

Kounelis said that she is following developments in Belmont, where officials have voted to join the Logan Community Advisory Committee, a group with representatives from about 30 area communities wanting to reduce noise from Logan’s air traffic.


Kounelis said she is monitoring the regional group with a great deal of interest, and might involve Watertown on it soon.

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Several communities became involved after changes in the flight paths for commercial aircraft were instituted recently at Logan. The new system has concentrated some routes with GPS navigation to make trips more efficient, officials said. However, residents in several area communities say the noise from the jets is becoming a burden, with a steady procession of planes departing from Logan’s 33L runway flying directly above their homes.

Currently, the advisory committee — which consists of communities within a 20-mile radius of Logan Airport — is working with the airport and the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct a noise study aimed at devising a new arrangement that could cut back on the thunderous sounds while maintaining safe flight paths for the planes.

Myron Kassaraba, who was appointed by Belmont officials to represent the town on the advisory panel, said his role includes sifting through a multitude of information on the new flight paths and the noise study, and reporting any details back to town officials and residents.

“We’re both trying to create a situation where we have a seat at the table, where we have our voice represented as part of the post-implementation review process, and also to understand everything,” he said. “It can be overwhelming, with the amount of information and the complexity of this. Many communities have been involved for five years or more, so we’re just getting up to speed.”


Kassaraba said he became involved after he recently noticed a surge of jet traffic concentrated over his house.

“On days when the flight pattern goes over my neighborhood, there could be as many as 100 or more flights a day, when previously it had seemed there would be maybe one or two flights an hour,” Kassaraba said, noting that residents are concerned both by the noise and a resulting decline in property values. “For people in Belmont, this is not something we’ve ever dealt with at this level of frequency.”

Belmont has scheduled an informational meeting about the advisory committee on Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. in Town Hall. For more details, visit www.belmont-ma.gov , or e-mail logancac@belmont-ma.gov.

For more information on Monday’s meeting in Watertown, visit www.ci.watertown.ma.us.

Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com.