Crazy Airport Pitches

F-Line to Dudley

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If you reclaim land in Boston Harbor, you can expand Logan.
That's the worst thing we can do in a sea level rise era, because fill drains poorly. Logan's built on some ex- Harbor Islands that were bonded together with fill, so for the most part the drainage holds up pretty well. See below...the dry areas are ex-island:



In a doomsday storm surge the terminals and central parking hold up very well, at least 1 if not 2 runways stay end-to-end dry, the hangars stay dry and offer sheltering options for planes at some risk on the tarmacs, and the Ted Williams Tunnel is dry at both portals as an escape route.


Build further out into the Harbor with another big dump of fill and it's going to behave a lot more like the infield does in this above map.
 

Shepard

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Stick, I want to thank you or a really great idea. I think the NIMBY-nay-sayers are overestimating the resistance this would generate, assuming a great transit plan were put forward - for example, both Acela/CR service and also local service to Norwood Airport via Fairmount on 10 min headways. In terms of noise, I live near Norwood, and we're already hearing lots of flights, being that the whole area is quite near the major flight paths going south.


I don't think of this as a replacement for Logan, but rather a rebalancing against both airport capacity and the transit grid. What would work well, I think, is if Norwood could be Boston's domestic hub, and Logan the international hub. Boston becomes LaGuardia to Logan's JFK, if that makes sense.
 

Equilibria

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I don't think of this as a replacement for Logan, but rather a rebalancing against both airport capacity and the transit grid. What would work well, I think, is if Norwood could be Boston's domestic hub, and Logan the international hub. Boston becomes LaGuardia to Logan's JFK, if that makes sense.
Part of what makes Logan desirable for international flights is domestic connections. It's not that Boston would get no traffic on O/D alone, but it wouldn't get as much.

Logan at the moment is not at airfield capacity, is not at domestic gate capacity, is building international gates to meet demand, is convenient by road to all parts of the Boston Area and convenient by transit to many (with more in the offing). Precisely what's the problem we're looking to solve here, other than that folks want supertalls in Downtown?
 

mass88

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Part of what makes Logan desirable for international flights is domestic connections. It's not that Boston would get no traffic on O/D alone, but it wouldn't get as much.

Logan at the moment is not at airfield capacity, is not at domestic gate capacity, is building international gates to meet demand, is convenient by road to all parts of the Boston Area and convenient by transit to many (with more in the offing). Precisely what's the problem we're looking to solve here, other than that folks want supertalls in Downtown?
At some point, Logan is going to reach a wall where Massport cannot expand anymore. It remains to be seen what type of an impact that Terminal E expansion will have on operations. It's a great project that Massport should have started construction on in 2016, not 2019. What they have not addressed is where all of the planes that would normally park in the area where the expansion is going to be built will go? As they continue to attract more service, there will be a large space crunch on the international side of things. The taxiways in the area of E10-12 are very tight and make A380 operations difficult.

Logan is a massive economic driver for the region, so enabling it to continue to grow should be a priority.
 

Equilibria

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At some point, Logan is going to reach a wall where Massport cannot expand anymore. It remains to be seen what type of an impact that Terminal E expansion will have on operations. It's a great project that Massport should have started construction on in 2016, not 2019. What they have not addressed is where all of the planes that would normally park in the area where the expansion is going to be built will go? As they continue to attract more service, there will be a large space crunch on the international side of things. The taxiways in the area of E10-12 are very tight and make A380 operations difficult.

Logan is a massive economic driver for the region, so enabling it to continue to grow should be a priority.
There's also a point at which growth at Logan will plateau. I'm with Arlington that every dollar and twisted arm spent expanding the airport would be better spent upgrading the NEC to carry every passenger going to NY, Philadelphia, and DC.

There isn't infinite demand or infinite growth in Boston, and we're overdue for a recession that will rightsize the demand we're seeing at the moment.
 

mass88

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There's also a point at which growth at Logan will plateau. I'm with Arlington that every dollar and twisted arm spent expanding the airport would be better spent upgrading the NEC to carry every passenger going to NY, Philadelphia, and DC.

There isn't infinite demand or infinite growth in Boston, and we're overdue for a recession that will rightsize the demand we're seeing at the moment.
Who would be financially responsible for upgrading the Northeast Corridor?
 

stick n move

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The thing is though sending people out to Manchester/Providence is capacity lost and money not spent on landing fees and everything else that comes with capacity. Its a solution yes, but a solution by subtraction. Its probably all we can do now, but there had been a plan to use Hanscom before that at least keeps the revenue in the state.

Its most likely too late now, but my reason for bringing it up is because if you look out to just 2050 Bostons population is estimated to be 800k. Is Logan going to be able to handle that? Also every other city will be much larger and air traffic much denser. I dont think its AS crazy when you think of 50 years out of 75 years, which is a long time but that doesnt mean kick the can. Its kind of crazy to think of as a whole, but then once you break it down to addressing each part it makes more sense. At the spot its located now how expensive and drastic measures will need to be taken to future proof for storm surge, sea level, capacity, transit, automobiles being on the other side of a tunnel. Then going further how much is lost on building every single building in the Seaport at a 3rd the height, where are we gonna house all these people.. Again its too late especially seeing we wont even do very small projects, but I think the overall picture is much more attractive when you look at how many things are wrapped up in it.

I had read the Hanscom proposal as well and Im not sure if that has any shot.. probably better than Norwood, but I just went with Norwood due to the CR/Amtrak, proximity, land, and the number of highways. Hanscom would be further, less connected, and already has issues with the neighbors, but may be the only thing with even a snowballs chance if the situation were ever deemed dire enough.
 

George_Apley

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I mean, if we're looking out to 50+ years who knows what the hell is going to happen. I'm very familiar with the area around Hanscom right now and I can't imagine it ever being a major national or international airport. I'm not saying it *can't* ever be. I'm just saying it's such a remote possibility barring an apocalyptic scenario that can't really be predicted let alone effectively planned for.

Politically I don't know that there's a better shot at Hanscom. Just try getting Lexington, Lincoln, and Bedford on board with plowing major arterials from 128 to the airport, along with somehow expanding runway space by flattening terrain and/or private takings, along with frequent landings and takeoffs of large passenger jets. Try extending the Red Line along the Minuteman through Lexington and see what happens. A full-service airport will be that x100. Maybe I'm overestimating that. I don't think so.
 

HalcyonEra

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The goal is to collect data that could lead to a class action lawsuit.”

Not to rain on the parade, and who knows if this will advance in Congress, but at the end of the day, this is a microcosm of what to expect with any new proposals, let alone expanding Logan:

https://www.bostonherald.com/2019/02/09/u-s-rep-stephen-lynch-takes-aim-at-airport-noise-pollution/

Noise and pollution near airports has U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch looking to give residents below the flight paths a break.

Lynch has filed a bill that would allow the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to study the health impacts from planes, potentially laying the groundwork for a class action lawsuit.

The bill, filed this week by the South Boston Democrat, would direct the Federal Aviation Administration to “enter into appropriate arrangements with the National Academies” for a report on the effects of noise disturbances that prompted 71,381 complaints in Massachusetts alone last year, more than 10 times the 6,811 filed in 2013, according to the Massachusetts Port Authority, which oversees Logan International Airport in Boston, Hanscom Field and Worcester Regional Airport.

“The impact of flying over the same homes all the time is a stress issue based on noise and jet fuel emissions,” Lynch said. “The goal is to collect data that could lead to a class action lawsuit.”

The problem, he said, began in 2013, when the FAA switched to a navigation system designed to save jet fuel by having planes use the most efficient routes, often flying at lower altitudes longer while making their ascents.

“As a result, thousands of flights go over the same homes every month,” Lynch said, “when we might be able to bring relief to a lot of people if those flights were sent over water or dispersed over different neighborhoods.”

For the last two years, R. John Hansman, director of the MIT International Center for Air Transportation, and his students have been working to see how advanced flight procedures might be used to lessen the problem.

“The ultimate goal is to use technology to both improve the efficiency of flights and minimize adverse effects such as noise,” said Hansman.

Maryann Aberg said planes fly over her Medford home as often as every 30 seconds, sometimes at altitudes so low she can read the names of the airlines and see the pilots.

“The windows of the house rattle,” she said. “It’s impossible to carry on a conversation in your own home.”

In an email Friday, FAA spokesman Jim Peters said the administration “does not comment on proposed legislation.”

Massport spokeswoman Jennifer Mehigan said the agency “supports scientific research” and keeps “involved in community discussions with residents and elected officials regarding aircraft activity and supports the work by the FAA and MIT engineers, with feedback from the Massport CAC (Community Advisory Committee), to develop ways to reduce the impacts of Logan operations.”
 

BKNA

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One of the biggest selling points for the Boston area when companies are relocating here is how close the airport is to the CBD.

this whole discussion started from a poster cherry picking data of non typical Boston traffic (the Sumner tunnel is not usually backed up in the pm and its not because of airport traffic when it is), compared to it to non peak times of San Fran and Seattle, changed the direction of travel between the cities AND STILL the bottom line is that Logan is FASTER to downtown than Seattle or San Fran. who gives a shit about mph? travel time is the only thing that matters. and if traffic is that bad, hop on the blue line for 2 stops and compare that to San Fran or Seattle transit to and from the airport.
 

Equilibria

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Maryann Aberg said planes fly over her Medford home as often as every 30 seconds, sometimes at altitudes so low she can read the names of the airlines and see the pilots.
OMG. No you f-ing can't see the pilots.
 

CSTH

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OMG. No you f-ing can't see the pilots.
Yeah for real. And they only run a landing pattern onto 33L (i.e. over Medford) very rarely, its mostly a dozen sunny afternoons in the spring when there's a strong seabreeze off the cold outer harbor water...
 

CSTH

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That's the worst thing we can do in a sea level rise era, because fill drains poorly. Logan's built on some ex- Harbor Islands that were bonded together with fill, so for the most part the drainage holds up pretty well. See below...the dry areas are ex-island:



...and the Ted Williams Tunnel is dry at both portals as an escape route.
I wouldn't bet on the ted staying dry if the Fort Point Channel starts overflowing. Any storm surge epic enough to get any landing gear wet at Logan is also going to take out the blue line, the Harbor Tunnels and the Oneill Tunnel for a month or more.....

Also - put the new runway / runway extensions on piers (like at Laguardia and Haneda, etc.) and we're good to go.
 

mass88

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Unless you have lived in your house since the 1950s, I have no sympathy for those that bought homes under a flight path to/from Logan.

Planes have become a lot quieter over the last couple of decades.
 

fattony

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Unless you have lived in your house since the 1950s, I have no sympathy for those that bought homes under a flight path to/from Logan.

Planes have become a lot quieter over the last couple of decades.
That isn't quite fair. They HAVE consolidated flight paths in recent years so that a smaller number of people are getting more planes than ever. This isn't a 50 year old problem. I very likely live in the same flight path as the Medford woman quoted. It isn't every day, but when the planes are flying over us it is one after another after another. Frequent and relentless.



It is horrible and more importantly, it is unnecessary. The same technology used to consolidate the flight paths can be used to spread them out somewhat equitably. This is a classic example of both unintended consequences and an externality. Sure the "optimal" flight path saves fuel as long as fuel cost is the only input to your cost function. Some measure of quality of life for the people under the planes should be factored in as well.
 

CSTH

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Yeah the flightpath concentration is legit. Frankly we get some relentless day too, way up here in Essex.
 

HenryAlan

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This morning was one of those days when the JP/Roslindale/Milton flight path was in heavy use. Every 30 seconds from about 5:45 AM until I left for work. No, that is not how it was when I bought my house. Now I'm not all that bothered by it personally, but it's a legitimate gripe.
 

Schorschico

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Those flightpaths are incredibly tight, and that is a big problem (first hand experience). The level of accuracy is now at going-through-the-same-street kind of level. Also, if I am not mistaken, noise loss is related to the square of the distance, so being slightly off-path means almost no-noise. We need to add noise (no pun intended) to those paths, so instead of 1 plane over your house every 30 seconds, you get 1 every 10 min with 20 slightly different paths.
 

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