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Ce Commission, by its chairman; the Civil Aeronautics Administration,
by its local airport engineer; the Boston Port Authority, by its acting the chairman and general manager; the Boston Chamber of Commerce,
by the chairman of its aviation committee; and the Maritime Association of the Boston Chamber of Commerce, by its manager and the
chairmen of its governing board and committee on navigation. Both an
prior and subsequent to this conference personal interviews were held with various interested parties, and additional data were also obtained by correspondence with the leading air lines which are now operating in this section of the country or have indicated their inten
tion of doing so in the post-war period. ds
16. The primary purpose of the resolution under which this study is made was stated by the representatives of the Massachusetts Department of Public Works, at whose request the resolution was presented for adoption, to be the obtaining of a recommendation for abandonment by Congress of the seaplane channel as authorized by that body in the River and Harbor Act of October 17, 1940, for the reason that as long as this seaplane channel remains an authorized project it presents an obstacle to the development of the CommonWealth Airport as now planned, in that it prevents the provision at the airport of runways of a length adequate to serve the needs of modern landplanes.
17. All of the interests represented at the conference were in substantial agreement that, in order to accomplish the development of the Commonwealth Airport as planned, which is conceded by all con
cerned to be of vital importance to the future of Boston as a major air er l
' terminal, it is a practical necessity to abandon the site at present aule fethorized for a seaplane channel and basin. However, the representa
tives of the maritime association of the Boston Chamber of Commerce stated it as their belief that sea planes will play an important part in
post-war air commerce and that, therefore, a seaplane channel will be 3.- necessary in Boston Harbor for post-war commercial use. They it requested that, if the present location is abandoned, a seaplane chanCo nel and basin be authorized at another locality.
18. In presenting its request that the present seaplane channel and pobasin be abandoned, the Massachusetts Department of Public Works, C at the conference of August 27, 1943, presented for discussion an alTilternative seaplane channel and basin in Dorchester Bay, Boston
Harbor. This, however, did not meet with the approval of the repretbs sentatives of the maritine association of the Boston Chamber of
Commerce, who were emphatically of the opinion that any seaplane le channel and basin provided should be in close proximity to the Comsa monwealth Airport to promote the expeditious transfer of passengers
and freight between seaplanes and land planes, obviate the necessity ja for the duplication of shore facilities, and otherwise coordinate seale plane and landplane travel. meta. 19. It was brought out by the representatives of the maritime assola sciation that the Commonwealth had, earlier in the year, suggested a
location for a seaplane base on the southerly side of the airport which
would be, in effect, an enlargement of the small seaplane base which Be now exists there. This suggested development is shown on the map :
which accompanies this report. The maritime association reprezentatives stated that, in their opinion, a seaplane base at this locality
would be much more desirable than the one proposed by the Common-.ch wealth in Dorchester Bay, and inquired why consideration of this
tume development had been dropped. The director of the division of chan waterways explained that there was no objection to it from the standpoint of the Commonwealth, but that it had been their understanding that the maritime association objected to the location because of the necessity for using the 35-foot main ship channel for taxying seaplanes in and out of a base at that locality. The maritime association rep- die resentatives replied that they did not consider this an insurmountable objection, and the consensus of opinion among them at the close of the conference appeared to be that consideration should be given by HE the department to relocating the seaplane base at the location on the southerly side of the airport, as shown on the accompanying map.!
20. Subsequent to the conference of August 27, 1943, under date of September 1, 1943, the chairman of the committee on navigation and maritime legislation of the maritime association of the Boston area Chamber of Commerce in a letter to the commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Works presented two other alternative suggestions with respect to coordination of a seaplane base with the enlargement of the Commonwealth Airport. His first suggestion, star which was stated to be that preferred by the association, was that the fathep east-west runways be altered so that their easterly ends would not The encroach on the authorized seaplane channel in the vicinity of Apple liber Island and that a seaplane basin and landing be provided at the inner in me end of this channel northwest of Apple Island between the southerly hai sir shore of Winthrop and the proposed northerly limit of the airport
. make it His second suggestion was that a seaplane channel be provided to the runt southward of and skirting Governors Island and running northward sane cha and well clear of the Bird Island anchorage to the existing seaplane marks channel at the southwest end of the airport.
21. A study of these suggestions was made by the Massachusetts binne Department of Public Works and, under date of September 9, 1943, ura the commissioner of that department, in a letter to the districted the engineer, stated:
The plan submitted by the chamber of commerce for a seaplane base at the easterly end of the airport development indicates a moving
back of the easternly aplan end of one of the runways and changing the direction so that the westerly end would terminate at the junction with a north and south runway. Although the department's plan as approved in February is the one used to show these changa it is noted that such changes would be troublesome in that the
runway head directly into the oil pier constructed by the Navy. Further study by the department indicates that to avoid buildings in the city, these two runways may The I have to be located even further south than originally thought possible
A seaplane landing in areas far to the easterly end of the airport would be quite remote from offices and warehouses so that such a location would not be so very desirable. With respect to the suggested seaplane channel southerly of and skirting Governors Island, under date of September 24, 1943,
the commissioner stated:
This would enable a seaplane to get within the danger zone of the runways
I enclose herewith another scheme more nearly what was discussed at our recent conference in your office (i. e., that of August 27), and one which was shown on the “February” plan which would bring the seaplanes outside of the famili approach area.
. The plan presented with the commissioner's letter of September 24, 1943, is the plan of improvement considered in this report,
1 Not printed.
22. While the representatives of the Maritime Association of the Three Boston Chamber of Commerce were the most insistent in urging that sida སྐུ་ ་
a recommendation for abandonment of the presently authorized seaft plane channel and basin be accompanied by a recommendation for a i bez substitute similar improvement at another location, other interests el mes represented at the conference of August 27 expressed somewhat the Da risl same sentiment, although with less insistence that the authorization 1314 of a seaplane base at another locality should be considered a matter del of immediate necessity. The chairman of the governing board of the
Maritime Association, in addressing the conference with respect to his reasons for believing that a seaplane base at another location in Boston Harbor should be recommended concurrently with any
recommendation for the abandonment of the presently authorized mati seaplane channel, said:
We look forward to seaplanes being extensively used in the heavy cargo and z passenger service which will be, of course, as we have been reading lately in our
pewspapers, from Boston to England and to the continent. That is going to be, I suppose, a very heavy traffic.
We must look forward to landplanes bringing passengers into the airport and
transferring them, perhaps on a 15-minute be a schedule, into seaplanes going across to England and the continent.
We desire that any action taken shall be by way of amending that (i. e., the authorized Beaplane channel) to shift it to another location, rather than merely a flat repeal, That is the position of our organization.
23. The chairman of the committee on aviation of the Boston Chamber of Commerce stated that about 2 years ago his committee was very much in favor of the seaplane channel as now authorized, but that since that time developments in airplanes have been such as
make it important to extend the airport as now planned, and that the present opinion of his committee is that the present layout of the seaplane channel and basin becomes an impossible one. He concluded his remarks by stating that, although he strongly favored the abandonment of the seaplane channel as presently authorized, he did not favor abandonment of a seaplane base at the airport if there were going to be
any seaplanes at all, as he thought there should be a place there to land them.
24. The acting chairman of the Boston Port Authority stated that, while that organization is definitely favorable to such relocation of the seaplane channel as is necessary to permit the required construction for land-based planesto such extent as the near future may indicate that seaplanes are in the picture, naturally it is the desire of the Port Authority, to that extent, that adequate facilities be provided.
25. The manager of the Maritime Association urged that it be made clear in this report that the Maritime Association does not disapprove the plan for a seaplane channel on the southerly side of the airport, shown on the accompanying map,' and that attention be drawn to the fact that it would cost very much less than the authorized seaplane channel. He also stated it as his belief that the matter of land planes versus seaplanes ought to be gone into thoroughly, even with a view to ascertaining what types of planes foreign nations plan to use.
26. There has been no offer of local cooperation in connection with the desired improvement.
27. Commerce and traffic (air).- The improvement desired by the proponents of a seaplane channel and basin in Boston Harbor is Not printed
admittedly in the interest of the anticipated post-war expansion of air commerce, in which the proponents of the desired improvement expect ud that the seaplane will play an important part. While it is generally un conceded that air commerce will expand with great rapidity after the mere war, it is impossible at this time to present any figures concerning such ite future expansion which would be based on anything but pure consaplar jecture, and therefore would be valueless from a factual point of view. Because the present airport is small and far below airport standards of the even the immediate present, any statistical data with respect to air rm8 commerce and traffic based on present operations there would be of nokter value for the purposes of this report, since it would be worthless inst estimating the future operations at the Commonwealth Airport after its planned development has been completed.
28. Survey:-A sounding survey of the area described in paragraph 29, “Plan of improvement", was made on October 6 and 8, 1943. No probings were taken as it is believed a depth of 12 feet at mean low or water can be obtained without encountering ledge. The accompanying map,' marked "Boston Harbor, Mass.," File No. 1593 F-6-1
, shows the latest soundings and other general features.
29. Plan of improvement.— The plan of improvement considered herein is a seaplane channel 12 feet deep at mean low water, 1,200 feet wide, and about 1,900 feet long, extending shoreward from the north limit of the Bird Island 30-foot anchorage, with a docking area of the same depth at its inner end varying in width from 600 to 300 feet in 8 length of about 650 feet.
30. The estimate for dredging given below includes engineering and contingency costs and provides for an overdepth allowance of 3 feet. 2:11 The quantity is in terms of place measurement. The unit price is based on the work being done by contract and the disposal of all excavated material at sea. 675,500 cubic yards dredging, at 60 cents per cubic yard.... $405, 300S DEL Estimated annual maintenance cost --
31. Were the improvement outlined in paragraph 29 above to be carried out using Federal funds, it would require a change in the established United States combined pierhead and bulkhead line at supo this locality, since all of the work outlined is shoreward of the existing line.
32. Discussion and conclusions.—The proposed development of the Commonwealth Airport by the Massachusetts Department of Public la Works provides for the immediate construction of one 5,000-foot and set you three 7,000-foot runways and the ultimate extension to 10,000 feet of these runways and additional runways expected to be constructed later. The only directions in which the airport can be expanded to provide these lengths for the east-west and southeast-northwest run bu ways scheduled for immediate construction, as well as some of the art po additional runways planned for future construction, are to the northa's and east, into the areas now proposed to be occupied by the authorized sharing seaplane channel and basin. Expansion of the airport in a southerly direction is precluded by the presence on its southerly side, and in close proximity to it, of the Boston Harbor main ship channel and stati the 30-foot Bird Island Anchorage. Since the development of the airport at Boston into a class A airport for land planes is concedendo by all local interests to be of primary importance, abandonment of the toth existing project for the seaplane channel and basin authorized by the
Tartedt muthirat While
* Not printed.
Bost yer alab
nou River and Harbor Act of October 17, 1940, becomes a necessity, for
the reason that this authorized project would prevent the proposed - development of the airport. n
33. The question of the necessity for the authorization at this time of a seaplane channel and basin at another location in Boston Harbor has been given careful consideration by this office and the weight of the evidence is against such a recommendation at the present time. In his remarks at the conference of August 27, the chairman of the committee on aviation of the Boston Chamber of Commerce stated:
It has been my privilege over the past 2 years as chairman of this committee and as president of the Aeronautical Association of Boston to hear expressions of opinion from speakers that have come to Boston representing most of the major
airplane lines. So far as they have expressed any opinion about it, it seems to be wat almost the universal opinion of these gentlemen that fashions in airplanes have
changed to such an extent that when the war is over there may not be any great
demand for seaplanes as against planes that land on the ground. A representative of Pan American, which is the line that now uses more seaplanes than any The other line, was in Boston within 2 weeks and at that time expressed the view to 0.1 me in my office that he thought the plane of the future for overseas traffic would
not be a seaplane; it would be a landplane flying over water
The representative of the Civil Aeronautics Administration present que at the conference, the airport engineer from their Boston office, stated:
I think that at least 9 out of 10 aeronautical engineers would thoroughly agree with the statement that a landplane is a more efficient plane than a seaplane.
The hull of a seaplane has to be built strong enough to carry the load that is carried in a plane, but also it has to be constructed much stronger in order to stand the pounding of the waves when landing and taking off on rough waters. As I said, 'I think most everybody will agree that a landplane is more efficient and will carry more pay load; and, therefore, the air lines are thinking in terms of landplane operation now instead of seaplanes. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology consultant to the Massachusetts Department of Public Works in connection with the development of the Commonwealth Airport stated at the conference:
In the course of our studies concerning the airport, we have consulted a great many air-line operators and particularly have asked their opinion on the subject of the future of the seaplane. Almost invariably they have said their anticipated
long-range operations will be done almost exclusively by the landplane. Pan u American has shown little interest in using Boston, or even looking for facilities
At Boston, for operation of their planes. Those companies that now anticipate
transoceanic flying all intend to do it with land-based airplanes. Such informaition as we have been able to obtain from people connected with Pan American,
the largest operator of seaplanes, indicates that their future long-distance flights 51 are expected to be done with landplanes. In view of these investigations, we are concentrating our efforts on the landplane facilities for Boston.
34. While the statements quoted above indicated that the sea plane would not be an important factor in transalantic service, at least in the early post-war period, it was considered that the best way to arrive at a sound conclusion as to the necessity for providing a seaplane channel and basin at Boston for the benefit of post-war seaplane raffic would be to canvass the major airline companies for an expresson of their views as to the probable place of the seaplane in post-war
Tans-Atlantic service. Accordingly, letters were sent to eight of the Leading companies requesting their opinions as to the probability of the extensive use of seaplanes in such service after the war;
informaion as to the type of plane they expect to use if they plan to engage n such service; and a statement as to whether they would be interested n using Boston as a terminal for seaplane flights if adequate facilities were available, this latter information being desired in the event it Kas their plan to use seaplanes. The companies from which informa