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Boston plan to reduce airplane noise may address DC-area complaints

An airplane flies between the air traffic control tower and the Washington Monument at Washington's Ronald Reagan National Airport in 2015. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON — Recent changes to airplane takeoff and landing flight paths have sparked noise complaints in Boston similar to those in the D.C. area, and new test programs in Massachusetts could help address concerns nationwide.

In the D.C. area, people living in Arlington, Northwest D.C., Montgomery County, parts of Fairfax County and Alexandria have been especially vocal about what they describe as an incessant increase in noise as more fuel-efficient flight paths and accurate navigation systems move a greater number of planes over the same locations.

In the past, those planes might have followed similar paths, but some variation would distribute noise across a wider area.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the Massachusetts Port Authority announced plans Friday to “better understand the implications of the flight concentrations and to study possible strategies to address the neighborhood concerns.”

The FAA promised further study of the “feasibility of adjustments” to some takeoff and landing flight paths at Boston Logan International Airport.

The FAA held public workshops last month on similar flight path changes that could be made in D.C.

Initial changes could be made in the next few months.