Milton residents: Do planes flying over you have their landing gear down?

Help by documenting what you see.

The FAA’s Runway 4L Environmental Assessment (EA) has commenced and the FAA will have two Zoom workshops in late October. Many residents have correctly observed that aircraft are overflying with landing gear deployed, even in clear weather, miles before the location (5 nautical miles from runway end: Cedar Grove (4L) and Granite Ave/Xway (4R)) at which gear is required by FAA to be deployed. That is an important noise factor. A November 2019 Select Board slide presentation by Tom Dougherty, which is on the MassportCAC section of the Town website, discusses this.

See a plane overhead? Look up!

We ask residents to watch overflying planes to observe whether their landing gear is deployed. Your quick observation could be instrumental in helping to inform FAA of the actual locations of a big contributor to air traffic noise over Town. No matter whether that plane will land on runway 4L or 4R, this landing gear deployment info will be helpful.

How to participate:

  • See a plane? Look up!
  • Is the landing gear deployed (i.e. do you see the planes wheels down?)
  • If yes, make a note of the date, time and place that you observe landing gear deployed.
  • For extra credit, snap a photo or video!
  • Send the above information to

A smartphone photo these days notes the time of the photo and the exact latitude/longitude which is an ideal way that even a teenager could help the effort by snapping a photo that itself would show the gear deployed. The front gear is most easily noticeable and if the front gear is deployed, it means that all landing gear are deployed.

Why does it matter?

Landing gear, if deployed, generate noise that comprises 40% of the aircraft’s noise according to authoritative studies. So, if you would prefer that Milton does not have an increase in the pollution and noise associated with the proposed additional satellite-based arrival path over town, you can help and Milton’s response to the EA can be a community effort.

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