In 2013, when the wind comes out of the Northwest, it's Belmont crying, crying for relief from up to 100 take offs from Boston's Logan International Airport's Runway 33L and flying in ever increasing numbers over the Town of Homes since June and now occurring over the entire town.
And the sound is being noticed. Complaints from residents of the mechanical whirling sound as airliners pass overhead is reaching the point where some are pointing to medical studies showing elevated cardiovascular illnesses in the elderly due to the noise while Louise Road's Adriana Poole has begun a Google group to collect evidence of the damage the sound is having on people and property values.
"You come to Belmont and make a serious investment in your house and now it's a completely different story" with the noise coming from the traffic at 10,000 feet.
But there is good news for residents who have been seeking some way of having their concerns heard: Belmont is now represented on a regional committee that will discuss reducing noise pollution from aircraft arriving or departing the airport with the Federal Aviation Authority, the government entity that overseas all air transportation in the US.
"We now have a seat at the table," said Myron Kassaraba speaking to the Belmont Board of Selectmen on Monday, Oct. 29. He joins Bobby Reardon from the Town Administrator's Office as representatives on the Logan Airport Community Advisory Committee, a group of more than 30 communities within a 20 nautical-mile radius of Logan that the Selectmen decided to sent representatives to in August.
"The bad new," said Kassaraba of Hastings Road, "is that the menu has been set an the meal is being served."
Kassaraba told the board he would be holding a public meeting soon to discuss the issues with residents
Kassaraba gave a brief overview of why aircraft appeared to be attracted to the skies over Belmont: in an effort to increase safety and operational logistics, in May the FAA reduced the number of "flight paths" air traffic controllers would send aircraft use heading west and south after taking off from Logan's 33L runway from approximately a dozen to four, two of those flight paths overfly nearly the entire town.
The FAA also noted that the net effect of the aircraft using the smaller number of flight paths would have "no impact" on communities under those paths.
"The town was informed at the time but, honestly, we could not anticipate how much more noise we would receive," said Kassaraba.
In addition, two years of repairs on 33L have recently been completed, "so now it's up and running and going full blast" which also has upped the flights over Belmont.
Kassaraba said that the number of flights coming over Belmont depends on several factors, the most prevalent being wind direction. On days when the wind comes out of the Northwest which occurs in the fall and winter, Belmont will be bombarded with jets departing from 33L – which handles up to 20 percent of all take offs – to New York, Miami, Rio and other destinations.
Kassaraba told the board the CAC is already four months into a year-long review of noise over affected areas in which the FAA will hear from communities and residents with an open public comment period until June 2014.
The time frame – lengthened from six months to a year by the efforts of Milton residents who submitted approximately 300 complaints to the FAA – will allow communities to experience the effects of the noise over all four seasons and in a variety of weather conditions.
Kassaraba said he and Reardon are planning to hold a public information meeting in the near future – possibly in December – to inform residents about the impacts of runway 33L new routing plan. They can be reached at LoganCAC@belmont-ma.gov.
He also said if anyone feels that the noise from these flights is excessive or having an impact on your quality of life, the best thing to do is file a complaint with Massport’s Noise Abatement Office at Massport's Noise Complaint Line, 617-561-3333 or by filling out the online form there.