Before we build a new runway, shouldn't we pursue a more regional approach and attempt to bring more traffic to other airports?
The proposed Logan airside improvements are part of a regional solution. In 1995, Massport participated in a New England Council regional aviation study with aviation directors and airport managers from the six New England states. The goal of the study was to:
Why doesn't Massport make more use of Hanscom instead of building another runway?
Hanscom is actually the second busiest airport in New England in terms of operations (a combination of take-offs and landings). The 183,005 operations a year that occur at Hanscom are that many less than would occur at Logan otherwise. To use Hanscom for commercial jet service would mean significant investments in baggage systems, terminals, gates, etc.
Rather than reinvent the wheel, Massport is in the process of establishing an operating agreement with Worcester Airport. Worcester has the facilities to handle commercial service and with better accessability can play a major role in New England's aviation system. While traffic at Worcester has been limited in past years, as Manchester and Providence begin to reach their saturation points, Worcester will begin to play a major role.
Why doesn't Massachusetts develop an airport system like Washington and Los Angeles has?
We already have that kind of system---Manchester, Providence and (eventually) Worcester are the reliever airports for Logan. All three airport are located about an hour away from Logan and Manchester and Providence are the fastest growing airports in the country. Last year traffic at Manchester increased by 75%, traffic at Green increased 15% and 64% the previous year. Together these two secondary airports are handling 6 million passengers annually, the amount of passengers a second airport to handle.
If the regional airports are growing so quickly, why not expand them and leave Logan alone?
Since the early 1990s, there have been significant investments made at Manchester, Providence and Worcester.
Manchester has invested over $300 million on new infrastructure, including:
Why doesn't Massport consider the impact of high speed rail? Won't that eliminate the need for expansion at Logan?
The DEIS/R considers each of the high speed rail projects (North-South High Speed Rail Link, Northeast Corridor Rail Link, Portland Amtrak Service) and the impacts they will have on Logan's traffic. While the new high speed rail service to New York is expected to cut into the Boston/New York market it will not have a significant impact on Logan. It is expected to draw away about one million a year --- about the average year's growth at Logan. The airside proposal is designed to fix delays that occur today at Logan. With or without high speed rail, we need to make Logan's airfield work more efficiently.
If more than half of the daily operations at Logan are small commuter aircraft, why not just move them to Hanscom?
While Logan is not a hub for any one airline, it is a regional hub. Commuter aircraft comprise about 45% of Logan daily operations and bring people and products from all over New England to feed into other flights and larger planes. If we cut these smaller planes out of Logan it would be bad for two reasons:
Why don't you send the cargo flights to Worcester or Hanscom? Wouldn't that cut down on the number of flights at Logan considerably?
Massport has been talking to cargo operators about relocating their operations in coming years. However, that will not have considerable impact on the number of flights at Logan. The majority of the cargo mail that passes through Logan is carried in the billions of passenger on commercial airline flights. Airlines carry cargo to make their regular scheduled flights more profitable.
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