Stemming from the Federal Aviation Authority’s (FAA) call for more public input in the debate for a new, unidirectional runway at Logan International Airport, Massport will engage the stakeholders whose opinions have been ignored thus far: the 27 million passengers who travel through the airport each year. Massport will solicit the opinion and input of travelers by sending informational letters to frequent flyers and distributing leaflets to passengers delayed due to northwest winds.
"In this important public policy debate no voice should be left out," said Virginia Buckingham, CEO and Executive Director of the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport). "And, thus far, the traveling public’s opinion has been excluded. As we move forward with the FAA, elected officials, and our neighbors in the surrounding communities with further study and analysis, it is only fair to include input from Logan’s customers."
Leaflets will be circulated through the airport terminals only on days when Logan is experiencing delays due to northwest winds. The leaflets include a direct response card that allows travelers to record the flight they were delayed on and register their comments. These responses will be used to create a database and compile testimony from those affected by delays. The information obtained from the leaflets will also be shared with local elected officials. In addition, Massport plans to solicit input through its website at www.massport.com.
"This is about educating our customers on the causes of delay at Logan," said Buckingham. "It is important for our customers to understand how and when they are delayed by northwest winds and how a new runway could help."
As part of the plan to reduce delays at Logan, Massport has proposed runway 14/32, a new 5,000 foot runway with all arrival and departures occurring over water. The runway would reduce delays up to 90% on northwest wind days, 45-55% in good weather, and 20-25% annually. It would also allow 75,000 flights per year -- more than double the number today -- to take off and land over the water. With the new runway, FAA controllers will have more flexibility to distribute noise equally and reduce persistent noise over any one community, especially at night and on weekends.
Last year, a regional business coalition funded its own advertisements touting the benefits of a new runway, however, Massport still has no plans to launch an advertising program in support of the new runway.