The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), in conjunction with the aviation departments and airport directors of the six New England states, is embarking on the next phase of a regional aviation planning process that has been ongoing since the late 1980s. The study, to be funded mostly by the FAA, will update regional aviation forecasts and study new initiatives aimed at expanding and improving current regionalization efforts. This next step comes as the New England region is in the midst of implementing a decentralized system of airports, reducing the reliance on Logan International Airport. While Logan is not overscheduled today, the strategy is aimed at handling future growth and accommodating the 23 million new passengers expected in New England by 2010.
"This study will provide New England with a unique opportunity to expand on our regional system plan and reflect the region's growing transportation needs," said Vince Scarano, Manager of Airports Division for the FAA New England Region. "The six New England states, as well as the directors of the regional airports, will work cooperatively to achieve that goal."
"This joint effort is essential to continuing our success in reducing the burden on Logan and its neighbors," said Massport Executive Director and CEO Virginia Buckingham. "We are committed to a regional approach that incorporates every mode of transportation and provides New Englanders with real choices."
The study will analyze issues such as:
the impact of regional jets on the services and routes offered at regional airports,
the impact of low cost carriers,
increased utilization of multi-modal transportation as complements to air service,
improved access to regional airports to boost passenger convenience and encourage further use of these facilities,
and exploring alternate locations for charter, cargo, and general aviation activity.
More than a decade of study and efforts have yielded results in efficiently and fairly spreading the burden and benefits of air travel. Due to increased use of regional airports, passenger growth at Logan has fallen to two percent or lower over the past two years. In addition, the number of flights in and out of Logan has declined by 5.7% over those same two years, bucking national trends showing unprecedented growth in aviation.