Boston is one of many communities where FAA has implemented new NextGen procedures that are creating exceptionally intense noise impacts. Using nearly bottomless financial resources, including airline passenger taxes, FAA has spent a lot of money, carefully maneuvering with the airlines and lobbyists to get Congressional support for these new procedures. Sadly – and inexcusably – the key element of Congressional support was a line of legislation passed in early 2012 that allows FAA to implement these impactful procedures using a ‘categorical exclusion’, aka a ‘CATEX’, which means ESSENTIALLY ZERO ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW.
It is absolutely unbelievable what FAA has done, particularly in Phoenix, Charlotte, Queens, Chicago, and Minneapolis. To preserve local quality of life, many citizens have risen to challenge FAA, forming groups calling for environmental reviews and FAA performance that is both accountable and transparent. One of those groups is Boston Fair Skies Coalition. They recently started a petition. The petition is aimed at Allan Goldsher, who is listed as the FAA contact person for an FAA proposal to implement new routes. In the map above, two departure routes are marked in yellow and red; three arrival routes are marked in blue, gray and black. The history behind this proposal is summarized at this Town of Milton website. Further details can be viewed here. FAA has set a June 30 deadline for citizen comments.
The Boston Fair Skies website has some valuable content, which not only details the problems FAA is making around KBOS, but also helps people in other U.S. cities to better understand their own local NextGen impacts. Be sure to click through and read the MassPort Webinar, posted on the website homepage.