Massport and FAA to Explore Noise Mitigation

The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced recently preliminary results of months of collaboration to develop test projects designed to help address the concentration of noise that some residents face because of adjustments to aircraft flight procedures.

The two agencies today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to frame the process for analyzing opportunities to address noise concerns through changes or adjustments to Performance Based Navigation (PBN). PBN has a number of potential benefits, including reduced fuel burn and emissions.

Over the last several years, the implementation of the new Performance Based Navigation (PBN) procedures – including Area Navigation, or RNAV – has resulted in flights becoming more concentrated because of the more precise nature of the navigation. This has generated community concerns about persistent noise in specific locations. Previously, flights were more spread out because planes were using less precise navigation systems. Massport has proposed several ideas for a test program with the FAA to better understand the implications of the flight concentrations and to study possible strategies to address the neighborhood concerns. After an initial review, the FAA has agreed that the ideas merit further study.

This innovative agreement between the FAA and Massport includes analyzing the feasibility of adjustments to some RNAV approaches and departures from Boston Logan International Airport.
Members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation endorsed the MOU at a signing ceremony in Boston.