An estimated 2,600 additional Belmont residents - nearly one in ten of those living in town – will soon be subjected to direct passenger jet noise of between 45 to 65 decibels under a Federal Aviation Administration plan that alters the routes taken by planes departing from Boston's Logan International Airport.
According to maps provided in the proposal, most of the additional residents will be in the Belmont Hill neighborhood nearest Route 2 between Pleasant and Prospect streets.
The proposal will effectively place the entire town under the noise umbrella which citizens can expect noise as loud as someone playing the piano as aircraft fly overhead.
Currently, residents living in the southeastern half of town – estimated at roughly 20,000 – which is a straight line from Pleasant Street and Route 2 to PQ playground, are currently impacted by Logan departures.
The FAA proposal, which is scheduled to go into effect March 7, will alter the air route navigation for planes leaving runway 33L – the airport's longest at 10,100 feet that reaches out into Boston Harbor – from the current ground-based system that uses visual and radio markers to a satellite-guided system known as RNAV.
See a pdf copy of the FAA proposal on this webpage.
"RNAV procedures facilitate more efficient design of airspace and procedures which collectively result in improved safety, access, capacity, predictability, reduced pilot communications in addition to benefits including reduced carbon dioxide emissions, reduced fuel use and improved ability to address noise," notes the document.
Under the proposal – known as the Boston Logan International Airport Runway 33L RNAV SID Draft Environmental Assessment – 70,000 residents of Boston and Cambridge would no longer be hampered by the noise of department aircraft.
By 2015, 80 percent of Logan’s aircraft fleet would be using the new guidance system, according to the State House News Service.
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However, the increase noise levels do not meet the requirement to be considered in the final decision.
“The proposed procedure would improve safety and efficiency at Logan Airport and has been designed as close as possible as an overlay to the current conventional flight departure procedure for Runway 33L,” FAA spokesman Jim Peters told the State House News Service.
Approximately an additional 4,100 Arlington residents and 5,800 Winchester citizens would also be impacted by the proposal while 1,500 Watertown residents would now fall under the new route.
In Newton, 483 fewer residents would hear aircraft noise.
The FAA is accepting public comments through Feb. 15.
For more information on the proposal, visit the FAA's website.