Protecting Logan’s Airspace. Massport has developed the Composite of Critical Airspace Surfaces (the Airspace Map) which defines the critical airspace around Boston Logan International Airport. It was created by Massport with input from airlines, pilots, city officials, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to protect the flight corridors in and out of the airport and to help guide developers and regulatory authorities on building heights. The Airspace Map aids developers in their planning and informs the FAA approval process of individual projects to determine if they present a potential hazard to air navigation. Failure to protect Logan’s airspace will result in a reduction in safety, loss of airport efficiency, and impact runway utilization potentially shifting flights from one community to another.
For example, one area of protection is the path that an aircraft must clear if there is a loss of power to one engine. A tall structure in this "one engine inoperative" corridor will interfere with the aircraft, resulting in airlines requesting different runways for departures, or the weight of a plane being adjusted to maintain an appropriate rate of climb. Other critical airspace surfaces protect the aircraft from obstacles when all engines are operating during inclement weather and others if an aircraft needs to change its approach or turn back to the airport.
The Airspace Map is intended for informational and conceptual planning purposes. Massport strongly recommends developers reach out to Massport for specific analysis of projects before filing the FAA Form 7460-1. Massport review does not remove responsibility to file the 7460 with the FAA, nor does it guarantee the results of the FAA obstruction analysis but it is a critical step that will inform FAA and the public.
Height limits captured by the Airspace Map (and follow-on detailed analysis) include the highest points of a structure including roof top mechanical and HVAC units, signs, antennae, lighting, solar panels, etc. The heights depicted on the Airspace Map are based on Average Mean Sea Level and NAVD88 Datum. Developers are also asked to review the use of construction cranes which will also need to be filed separately with the FAA Form 7460-1. Cranes are considered temporary but it is important that developers work with Massport and the FAA to minimize the extent and duration of the impact on Logan’s airspace.
Once a project is complete, developers must file with the FAA Form 7460-2 which is based on as-built survey with 1A accuracy. This will confirm to Massport and the FAA the approved height for incorporation into the FAA’s national airspace database.
Installing solar arrays. If solar panels are being planned, a separate glare study with the FAA must be conducted. The FAA guidance for solar panels can be found at https://www.faa.gov/airports/environmental/policy_guidance/media/FAA-Airport-Solar-Guide-2018.pdf
Aircraft Noise. Projects directly under flight paths and closer to the airport may also be impacted by overflight noise. Boston Logan operates 24 hours per day and year-round. Flight paths are primarily determined by wind and weather and the FAA’s selection of specific runways. For more information please refer to Massport’s website: https://www.massport.com/logan-airport/about-logan/noise-abatement/
For questions related to the Logan Airspace Map, please contact