Massport and FAA allow Milton and Dorchester residents 16:19 minutes sleeping hours in a week

For those of you who are reading this in a sleep deprived state, that is an average of about 2.5 hours of plane-free sleep per night, for a week straight.

Last week, from March 1 at 10:10 a.m. until March 8 at 9:00 a.m., approximately 3,078 planes flew over the same homes, families, schools, and parks under the arrival runways commonly known as “the 4s” – 4R and 4L en route to Boston.

This was a total of 166 hours and 50 minutes.

This averaged out to roughly one plane every three minutes overhead.

During one night this week, Massport and the FAA thought one hour and 18 minutes was an acceptable amount of time to sleep without the noise and pollution from the planes above the same people, day in and day out. The maximum amount of plane-free sleep time was four hours and 14 minutes.

Out of the 166 hours 50 minutes the 4s were used 158 hours 19 minutes, or 95% of the time.

Between the hours of 12:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m., the longest period of time *without* a plane was:

  • Friday, March 2: 2 hours, 4 minutes. Milton and Dorchester residents could sleep between 2:15 – 4:19 a.m.
  • Saturday, March 3: 1 hour, 18 minutes. Milton and Dorchester residents could sleep between 3:29 – 4:47 a.m.
  • Sunday, March 4: 1 hour, 24 minutes. Milton and Dorchester residents could sleep between 3:20 – 4:44 a.m.
  • Monday, March 5: 1 hour 11 minutes. Milton and Dorchester residents could sleep between 3:23-4:34 a.m.
  • Tuesday, March 6: 4 hours, 14 minutes. Milton and Dorchester residents could sleep between midnight – 4:14 a.m.
  • Wednesday, March 7: 4 hours, 16 minutes. Milton and Dorchester residents could sleep between 12:15 – 4:31 a.m.
  • Thursday, March 8: 1 hour, 52 minutes. Milton and Dorchester residents could sleep between 2:55- 4:14 a.m.

Many people cannot sleep with planes running near-constantly over their heads, despite use of headphones, meditation, sleeping pills, earplugs, white noise machines, etc.

How many hours of sleep do you need in order to go about your daily lives?

Many thanks to Susan Hayes for her statistical contributions to this story.

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