Logan Airport – at risk?

Logan Airport, Boston

This is a view out over Boston Habour from Terminal E of Logan International Airport, Boston (named after General Edward Lawrence Logan, a native of South Boston who fought in the Spanish-American War). This is the principal airport for Boston, although airports to the north, at Manchester, New Hampshire, and to the south in Providence,  Rhode Island, do siphon some traffic away.

The aircraft in the picture is one of the Aer Lingus Airbus A330-202 fleet, EI-DUO, ‘St Columba/Colum’, being readied for a flight back to the ‘Emerald Isle’.  Aer Lingus previously operated Boeing 747 and Boeing 767 aircraft, but the A330 is now the mainstay of their long-haul fleet. Note the catering trucks, aircraft tug, and other support vehicles clustered around the Airbus, which is connected to Pier E4. Aer Lingus are only one of  many airlines operating international services out of Boston (ICAO code, KBOS; IATA code, BOS) including  Alitalia, Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Northwest Airlines, United Airlines, Air France, Air Canada and American Airlines.
I have flown the Atlantic many times out of Boston, and the take off, directly over Boston Harbour, and views of the coastline, are always a thrill. Therein lies the problem; Logan is constructed for the most part either on reclaimed, or very low-lying, land, with runways at around 20ft above sea level. It is fairly indisputable that climate change is now well underway – harder winters, hotter summers, melting of ice-sheets at the Poles – and this will unfortunately lead to an inexorable rise in sea level. Since Logan is surrounded on three sides by the sea, this would seem to make its very long-term future doubtful. Perhaps Manchester International (KMHT) in New Hampshire, and T. F. Green Airport in Rhode Island (KPVD) will take even more traffic; either that or the nearly deserted airport at Worcester, Massachusetts (ICAO code KOHR), over one hour to the west by car, will finally fulfil its destiny. With a 7,000 ft runway and a location over 1,000 ft above sea level, it would seem to be well placed, if nothing else.

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