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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:
  • identify existing levels of air transportation in all New England airports
  • estimate leakage (number of passengers who drive past regional airports to use Logan or New York airports)
  • analyze potential for improved service at regional airports
  • assess what impact improved service at regional airports would have on Logan
  • analyze the results of a common fare pricing strategy at regional airports
The study concluded that:
  • an opportunity exists to dramatically reduce leakage (by 50 percent)
  • regional airport traffic could and should grow
  • even regional airport growth, there is a need for equipment and infrastructure improvements at Logan
  • the combination of enhanced regional air service and infrastructure at Logan would preclude the need for a second airport

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:
  • $70 million for terminals, aprons, and roadway improvements
  • $13 million for an expanded terminal (new jet and commuter gates)
  • $200 million for airside expansion (extended one runway from 5,00 ft to 7,000 ft and another runway from 7,000 ft to 9,000ft, constructed new taxiways and installed new navigational aids)
  • $22 million for a new garage connected to the terminal by a people mover
  • a new runway connection from Route 3 to the airport is currently under review.
Providence has invested over $300 million for new infrastructure, including:
  • $260 million for a new terminal, airport roadways, terminal aprons, and taxiway improvements
  • $15 million for runway reconstruction
  • $25 million (Federal Highway funding) to build a connection to I-95 and a new rail stop with a people mover connections to the terminal and new garage
Worcester has invested or plans to invest $25 million including:
  • $10 million for six gate terminal (4 jest & 2 commuter) and new airport roadway
  • $10 million for a new airside lighting system, navigational aids and apron and taxiway improvements
  • $5 million planned for cross runway reconstruction
  • Mass Highway is exploring ways to build a direct link from I-90/293 to the airport
While these investments are critical to the success of a regional aviation system, they do not provide an significant alternative to Logan, which remains one of the most delayed airports in the U.S.-ranked 7th in 1998. The Logan airside improvements program and construction of runway 14/32 will help reduce delays at Logan today.

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:
  • It would put New England businesses at a competitive disadvantage by cutting off their access to wider destinations. It would cut off the Cape and Islands and most parts of New England access to domestic and international flights.
  • The airlines depend on the smaller aircraft to feed their flight. Sixty-five percent of the passengers on the smaller planes generally are connecting to other destinations.
Logan is everyone's airport and people from all parts of New England, including those served by commuter aircraft, should have access to it.

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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