When Superstorm Sandy hit New York and caused flooding at LaGuardia Airport, officials further north paid close attention.

Boston’s Logan Airport is surrounded on three sides by water, so flooding has always been a concern during major storms. But after witnessing what happened in New York, the Massachusetts Port Authority ramped up its efforts to prepare for more extreme weather and rising seas.

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And that means considering more than how to get excess water off runways – it also means protecting critical facilities, computers, and lighting systems.

Logan Airport’s new climate change resiliency plan includes emergency fuel pumps and flood barriers – four-foot tall panels that are easily installed to protect critical infrastructure.

And in new buildings, electrical panels and heating and cooling systems are now installed above the maximum flood elevation for protection.

Massport CEO Thomas Glynn says it’s important to plan ahead, since a functioning airport can be vital during a crisis. For instance, in an emergency, Logan could be where the Red Cross or the National Guard needs to fly in…

Glynn: “It is a very, very important facility, and so we feel that we have an extra obligation to make sure that we have an aggressive resiliency strategy.”

Aerial view of Logan Airport

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo credit: David Wilson (Flickr: 20120909 027 Boston) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

More Resources
Boston-Logan International Airport Sustainability Management Plan
Logan Airport drafts climate change plan
Strategies funded to help Boston’s Logan Airport guard against climate change effects are funded

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John Wihbey

John Wihbey, a writer, educator, and researcher, is an assistant professor of journalism at Northeastern University and a correspondent for Boston Globe Ideas. Previously, he was an assistant director...