JetBlue to retrofit planes to ease burden of noise pollution; good for those living under NextGen’s paths

State Representative Bill Driscoll instrumental in securing retrofit

State Representative Driscoll welcomed Jet Blue’s announcement today that the airline company will begin to retrofit their planes with vortex generators, a move that will ease the burden of noise pollution in the Town of Milton. Studies have indicated that utilizing the vortex generators could reduce noise levels by up to 9 decibels per plane. “This not only benefits Milton and Greater Boston, this benefits communities around the nation by lowering the noise emitted by planes on arrival,” Driscoll claimed.

Since taking office, Driscoll has advocated for the retrofitting of vortex generators on aircraft landing at Logan as part of a broader strategy for towns in Massachusetts affected by the 2013 FAA flight path navigation changes, commonly referred to as Next Gen. “I have testified at hearings, sent letters and cornered executives in hallways seeking this very type of common sense implementation. Your voice is being heard. JetBlue is listening. It is time that the other airlines step up too,” Driscoll noted.

The Milton Rep also stated his appreciation for JetBlue in showing consideration for those who have had to live with the adverse effects of noise pollution in Milton over the years. “As the air carrier with the largest presence at Logan this is a meaningful and welcome step by them as our neighbor,” Driscoll said.

As a freshman Representative, Driscoll has made air traffic reform a key priority of his first term. He continues to work closely with other elected officials and appointed community members on the issue of increased air noise and pollution over Milton, including fellow Milton Rep. Dan Cullinane, the Milton Selectboard and Massachusetts’ Congressional delegation in Washington DC. Driscoll has experienced the problem himself as a homeowner underneath the flight path in East Milton. He noted that Milton is still experiencing an unacceptable level of air traffic, and that he intends to continue advocating for FAA changes, but that this is hugely positive news.

“I’ll continue to push for other tangible changes aimed at air traffic fairness but in terms of a single change to the aircraft themselves that can ease the noise burden, this is as big as it gets. Given that vortex generators benefit arriving aircraft in particular, which is Milton’s primary issue, it is a significant development.”

Driscoll stated that all elected officials and residents who have engaged with the FAA, MassPort and the airline industry should be proud of their efforts to achieve this outcome. “Milton is at the forefront on this specific issue. Elected leaders and citizen advocates have been pushing for wide adoption of measures such as installing vortex generator components on airplanes for years,” he said.

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