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Town Council Taking Steps to Quiet Airplane Noise in Watertown

Watertown seeks a voice on controlling noise from planes heading to Boston.

Planes have been causing more noise lately in Watertown.
Planes have been causing more noise lately in Watertown.
The opening of a new runway at Boston's Logan Airport has led to an increase in noise from airplanes in Watertown, and this week the Town Council voted to take steps to reduce the racket.

Earlier this month, the Council's Committee on State, Federal and Regional Government held a hearing for residents to sound off on the noise from planes flying over town. 

The problem started with the opening of Runway 33L at Logan. Planes heading there fly over a number of communities west of Boston, including Watertown, Belmont and Arlington. Town Councilor Angeline Kounelis said noise has been measured as loud as 70 decibels - the equivalent of busy traffic, according to this article

Planes can fly over at all hours of the day, and come as often as every two minutes, Kounelis said. The runway can accommodate up to 250 planes a day.

Residents have called the Logan and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to complain, Kounelis said, but the situation has not changed.

A board called the Logan Airport Community Advisory Committee (CAC) works with the FAA and Massport, but currently Watertown does not have any members on the board. 

At Monday's meeting, the Town Council voted to take for steps in an effort to reduce the noise from planes heading to Logan:

  1. Have Town Manager Michael Driscoll find out how many members Watertown can have on the Logan Airport Community Advisory Committee and appoint the maximum number
  2. Have the Watertown Health Department address the issue of airplane noise attributed and the effects of this noise on the quality of life for town residents.
    Send letters to Watertown's representatives in the State House - State Sen. Will Brownsberger and State Reps. Jonathan Hecht and John Lawn - requesting that they continue to research the issue of airplane noise and advise the Town Council on how best to address the issue. 
    Send a letter to Watertown’s representatives in Congress requesting that they arrange a public meeting with representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration to discuss the issue of airplane noise.
  3. Send letters to Watertown's representatives in the State House - State Sen. Will Brownsberger and State Reps. Jonathan Hecht and John Lawn - requesting that they continue to research the issue of airplane noise and advise the Town Council on how best to address the issue. 
  4. Send a letter to Watertown’s representatives in Congress requesting that they arrange a public meeting with representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration to discuss the issue of airplane noise.

Kounelis told her colleagues Rep. Hecht's office was contacted by Sen. Edward Markey's office, which will be meeting with the FAA in January.

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