General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport in the East Boston neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, United States (and partly in the Town of Winthrop, Massachusetts), is one of the 20 busiest airports in the U.S., with over 27 million passengers a year. The airport serves as a focus city for AirTran Airways, American Airlines, US Airways, and JetBlue Airways.
It covers 2,400 acres (10 km²), has six runways, and employs an estimated 16,000 people., The airport has service to destinations in the United States, as well as Canada, the Cape Verde Islands, the Caribbean, Europe, and Mexico. The distinctive central control tower, nearly a dozen stories high, is a local landmark with its pair of segmented elliptical pylons and a six-story platform trussed between them.
Boston Logan Airport is the 7th busiest airport in the USA based on international traffic, ranking ahead of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and behind San Francisco International Airport. In 2005, it handled 6,978,780 international passengers.
Originally called Boston Airport, Logan opened on September 8, 1923, and was used primarily by the Massachusetts Air Guard and the Army Air Corps. At that time, it was known as Jeffery Field. The first scheduled commercial passenger flights were initiated by Colonial Air Transport between Boston and New York City in 1927.
The airport has expanded over the years, including the addition of 1,800 acres (7 km²) built on landfill in Boston Harbor and the incorporation of the former Governors and Apple Islands. As a consequence the airport is almost entirely surrounded by water. In 1952, the airport became the first in the United States with an indirect rapid transit connection. In 1956, the state renamed the airport as General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport after a Spanish-American War hero from South Boston.
The era of the jumbo jet began at Logan during the summer of 1970 when Pan Am inaugurated daily Boeing 747 service to London Heathrow Airport. Non-stop flights to London now are scheduled by British Airways, American Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic.
When Terminal E opened in 1974, it was the second largest international arrivals facility in the United States. Since that time the number of international travelers using Logan has tripled. International long-haul travel has been the fastest growing market sector at Logan and has led the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) to embark on a major airport renewal project. The international terminal at Logan has been completely modified and upgraded into an elegant and impressive facility in recent years. Terminal E is a common-use facility, meaning all ticket counters and gates are shared among the international carriers.
Massport's relationship with neighboring communities has been highly strained since the mid-1960s, when the agency took control of a significant parcel of residential land and popular fishing area adjacent to the northwest side of the airfield. This project was undertaken to extend Runway 15R/33L, which would later become Logan's longest runway. Residents of the affected neighborhood, known as Wood Island, were bought out of their homes and forced to relocate. Public opposition came to a head when hordes of residents lay down in the streets in an attempt to block bulldozers and supply trucks from reaching the intended construction zone.
Many area residents who were old enough at the time still harbor intense nostalgia for the former Wood Island Park, and this issue remains a primary source of the enmity that exists towards Massport.
A November 2006 issue of the Winthrop Transcript featured a front-page article about the operations of air traffic control at Logan. The article described the inside of the Logan tower as being approximately the size of a master bedroom and staffed by eight controllers. In one corner of the room, next to a coffee pot and Danish tray, were strategically-placed large bottles of antacids.
In March 2007, the Boston Herald revealed that Massachusetts State Police personnel were the beneficiaries of a hidden perk that authorized a $40 daily stipend for troopers who commuted to work using their own vehicles, despite a sufficient inventory of take-home cruisers. Although the policy, upon public disclosure, was immediately eliminated for troopers patrolling the Massachusetts Turnpike, sources claim that a similar perk still remains in place for troopers stationed at Logan. Massport has thus far refused to confirm or deny this.
Construction has been completed on an additional runway, 14-32. This runway was first proposed in 1973, but had been delayed by court action.
A scene from the 2006 film The Departed was filmed on location at Logan, inside the connector bridge between Terminal E and the Central Parking Garage.
Parts of the recent Delta Air Lines 2007 "Anthem" commercial were filmed inside Terminal A as well as the connector bridge between Terminal A and Central Parking.
On April 9, 2008, Massport announced that Grand China Airlines had formally applied to the Civil Aviation Administration of China for approval to operate daily non-stop passenger flights to Boston from Beijing using Boeing 787 aircraft. According to Massport, due to delays in production of the 787, the service is not likely to begin before 2010. This is also consistent with government regulations on Chinese route approval, which has allocated all Chinese routes up through 2009. Logan last had service to Asia in July 2001, when Korean Air discontinued service to Seoul, Korea, which operated with a stop in Washington, D.C.
Logan International Airport covers an area of which contains six runways:
Opposition to the construction of 14-32 had been fierce even among residents of nearby communities such as Winthrop and Revere, two areas which — by all accounts — were supposed to benefit from a reduction in noise levels once the new runway opened up. With construction now having been completed, more wrangling has erupted over guidelines governing use of the new airstrip. Local communities are aggressively pushing for a minimum runway-use threshold of 11.5-knot northwest winds, slightly higher than the 10-knot threshold espoused by Massport. There has also been heated debate over a recent FAA proposal to lower the decision height for pilots.
The new runway reduces the need for the existing Runway 15L-33R, which, at only long, represents what is perhaps the shortest hard-surface runway at any major airport in the United States. In 1988, Massport had proposed an extension to this airstrip (a project which would have required additional filling-in of land along an important clam bed), but was thwarted by a court injunction.
Boston's Hyatt Harborside Hotel, which sits only a few hundred yards from the runway threshold, was built primarily to prevent Massport from ever extending 14-32 or using it for takeoffs or landings over the city. Massachusetts lawmakers carefully chose the location of the hotel--directly in the runway centerline--prior to its construction in 1992.
Logan International Airport has four terminals, all connected by shuttle buses and walkways. Moving walkways also connect the terminals to a central parking garage. Terminals A, C and E have their own buildings, B is split into north and south. Only Terminal E has U.S. Customs and Immigration services, so all international flights arrive there except for those coming from locations with U.S. customs preclearance. The largest airline at Boston Logan is JetBlue carrying 15.72% of passengers, followed by American Airlines (14.89%), US Airways (14.72%), Delta Air Lines (13.67%), and United Airlines (10.52%)
Terminal E handles all international arrivals as well as the following airlines:
Limousine pickup is also very common at the airport. Limousine drivers are not allowed to leave their vehicles at the designated pickup areas and pickup locations vary depending on the terminal. For Terminal A, the pickup location is on the arrival level, outside baggage claim, in a small parking lot across the road. For Terminal B (both north and south sides), pickup is at the curbside on the departure level. At Terminal C, pickup is also on the departure level at the second and third islands. At Terminal E, pickup is on the arrival level in a small parking lot across the road.
Taxi operations are coordinated at each terminal by Massport. Massport's regulations have reduced the number of taxis allowed to wait in front of the terminal at any one time, and prohibit taxis from picking up fares at any location other than the designated taxi stands located at each terminal. A large staging area near the South Cargo complex serves as the waiting area for taxis, before they are called to the taxi stands to replenish the supply.
The MBTA operates a water shuttle connecting Logan with downtown Boston, Quincy, and Hull. On demand service from the airport to various locations on the downtown waterfront is provided by a fleet of water taxis. A free shuttle bus ferries passengers between the airport dock and the various terminals.
By road, the airport is at the eastern terminus of the Massachusetts Turnpike (Interstate 90), which provides easy access from the west via the Ted Williams Tunnel. From the south, travellers on Interstate 93 can connect to the Masspike east, through the Ted Williams Tunnel and take exit 26 to reach the airport. From the north, I-93 traffic to the airport uses the Callahan Tunnel, Route 1A North. From the North Shore, access is via Route 1A South. Additionally, road traffic from most of downtown Boston, Back Bay and Fenway/Boston University should use the Callahan Tunnel. The westbound twin tunnel to the Callahan Tunnel is known as the Sumner Tunnel. Eastbound travel through the tunnels is free, but there is a $3.50 toll for westbound travel.
On July 10 2006, the connector tunnel leading from the Massachusetts Turnpike to the Ted Williams Tunnel was closed due to a ceiling collapse that killed a woman. This complicated airport access from the south and west. This connector tunnel was part of the Big Dig project which extended the Massachusetts Turnpike to the airport via the Ted Williams Tunnel. Access from I-90 Eastbound was restored in August 2006, and access to I-90 Westbound was restored on December 23 2006. I-90 access was completely restored the weekend of January 14 2007.
To address Logan Airport's overcrowding, Massport has designated Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in Manchester, New Hampshire and T. F. Green Airport in Providence, Rhode Island as the second and third airports of Boston. Massport does not operate these facilities.