Contact: Richard Walsh or Matthew Brelis
Massport Launches Runway Safety Project
Summer Closure Set for Runway 15R/33L
BOSTON -- The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) today announced a summer closure of runway 15R/33L at Boston Logan International Airport to allow for the start of Runway Safety Area (RSA) construction at the approach of Runway 33L. The RSA project will be completed in two construction seasons beginning with daily closures in June followed by a complete runway closure starting on or about July 1, through late September, and ending with daily closures in October. The daily closures in June and October will be dependent of wind and weather. A similar round of closures will take place during the 2012 construction season. Total cost of RSA construction is approximately $65 million.
Runway Safety Areas are a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) defined safety surface designed to reduce the risk of damage to an aircraft in the event of an undershoot, overshoot, or exit from the runway. RSAs do not extend runways or have any impact on normal runway operations, runway capacity, or types of aircraft that can use the existing runways.
“This is a critical public safety project for Boston Logan and our ability to move forward in a timely and efficient manner to meet FAA requirements is due in large part to the collaborative effort of our partners at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP),” said Director of Aviation Edward C. Freni. “Since 2006, the airport has been operating with an interim, EMAS arresting system until we could get approval and funding to extend the safety area by means of a pile and concrete pier that would extend into Boston Harbor but within Logan’s 500- foot restricted security zone.”
Once completed, the runway 33L RSA would extend the length of the existing RSA from 187.5 feet to a total of 600 feet and include a pier built on piles. The enhanced RSA will extend the existing Engineered Material Arresting System (EMAS) bed to a total of 500 feet. EMAS is a technology designed to safely stop a jumbo jet entering the RSA at 70 knots.
The FAA requires that commercial airports provide standard RSAs where feasible. The existing RSA for runway 33L does not meet FAA minimum standards. Congress has mandated that all commercial service airports improve their RSAs to meet FAA minimum standards to the extent feasible, by 2015. To achieve this goal, FAA’s current Airport Capital Improvement Program for Boston Logan has allocated funding for the completion of Runway 33L RSA construction no later than 2013.
During the closure, and depending on wind and weather conditions, other runway configurations will be used to accommodate operations at Boston Logan. As a result, residents from neighboring communities may experience an increase or decrease in the number of over flights during the project. All project activities will take place on Boston Logan’s airfield with most activity and material delivered by barge. To help minimize noise from pile driving activity, concrete piles will be used rather than steel and the use of hydraulic drivers instead of diesel drivers. Construction work hours are restricted to 7 a.m.to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. Saturday construction activity is likely, Sunday work will be limited. No pile driving shall be allowed between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Massport’s contractor searched the globe for large hydraulic drivers which can perform the work with the least amount of noise possible. Massport will work closely with contractors to reduce noise and other construction impacts on nearby communities.
For information on specific changes in runway usage, please call Massport’s Noise Complaint Line at 617-561-3333 during Noise Abatement Office hours of Monday through Friday, from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Noise Complaint Line will continue to be available to receive noise complaints 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
For general information on this project, please call Massport’s Office of Government and Community Affairs at 617-568-3711 (Monday –Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.).
Boston Logan, 15 minutes from the intersection of Route 128 and I-90 and five minutes from downtown Boston, serves as the gateway to the New England region and offers nonstop service to 72 domestic and 29 international destinations and in 2010 handled 27.4 million passengers. Boston Logan is the Air Line Pilot Association’s Airport of the Year for 2008 because of its commitment to safety. Over the past decade, the airport spent $4.5 billion on a modernization program that includes new terminals, parking facilities, roadways and airport concessions, and has been transformed into a world-class 21st Century facility. The airport generates $7 billion in total economic impact each year.
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The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) owns and operates Boston Logan International Airport, public terminals in the Port of Boston, Hanscom Field and Worcester Regional Airport. Massport is a financially self-sustaining public authority whose premier transportation facilities generate more than $8 billion annually, and enhance and enable economic growth and vitality in New England. No state tax dollars are used to fund operations or capital improvements at Massport facilities.