Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who has reviewed the study, said it helps illustrate how the "central location" of Logan just minutes across the harbor from downtown "gives you easy access to some of the greatest minds in the world" and helps the city's economy thrive.
Boston neighborhood residents have chronically complained about traffic, noise, air pollution, and other harm from Massport operations, and East Boston groups battled for three decades against a new sixth runway that is only now finally being constructed and will open later this year.
Menino said in recent years, though, Massport has become "a better partner with the city of Boston. There will always be issues between Massport and the city, but not to the degree we had in the past."
As part of the study, consultants Leigh Fisher Associates also studied economic effects of Massport maritime facilities, including shipping terminals in Charlestown and South Boston, which the firm said support 2,247 direct jobs and another 1,751 through vendors, suppliers, and spinoff economic benefits, altogether worth nearly $450 million annually.
Coy said the report gives him confidence Massport should press ahead with efforts to keep expanding shipping facilities, including a $50 million project now underway to add capacity at the Conley Terminal in South Boston.
"We're just coming out of a 10-year modernization project at Logan Airport. Our next focus, I think, should be on the waterfront, on the maritime side," Coy said. Like all East Coast ports, Boston imports more on ships from China than it exports, but in total traffic, Boston's port now has a higher percentage of total exports to China, including fish and forestry products. That represents a key base to build on, Coy said.
"Our ability to sustain the port is a challenge. We're getting to the point where it's break-even at the operating level, but it doesn't generate enough cash to support the capital investments that we need to make," Coy said. "We have some opportunities to invest to make this a more viable port."
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Massachusetts Port Authority officials will meet with Hainan Airlines during an upcoming state trade mission to China in their continuing efforts to land the first direct passenger flights between...