Request for Information re. small aircraft over Wollaston, Quincy, MA

Ramola Dharmaraj filed this request with the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States of America.
Tracking # 2014-009216
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Appeal

Communications

From: Ramola Dharmaraj

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

Please provide all correspondence including memos, emails, and contracts between private companies/individuals/government departments/agencies, air traffic control via FAA FSDO in Burlington, MA, and state and local Quincy, MA government and law enforcement relating to the permitted frequent and continuous daily and nightly flights of small and large civil, private, or military aircraft over particular houses and neighborhoods in the Elmwood/Pine/Norfolk St. location of the Wollaston area of Quincy, Massachusetts, and particularly over (therefore, referencing) the house and yard at 154, Pine Street, from the time period 1 Nov 2013 upto the present date.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Ramola Dharmaraj

From: Federal Aviation Administration

Dear Mr. Dharmaraj,

This is in response to your May 5 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA
2014-9216) request, which sought correspondence between various entities,
agencies, and organizations, which relate to permitting the frequent and
continuous daily flights over the location described in your request. We
are unable to conduct a records search based on the scope of your request,
because there are no permits required to operate aircraft in the vicinity
of the area described in your request. Therefore, we wil be closing your
request.

Dean Torgerson
Manager, FOIA and Enforcement Group (AJI-172)
Litigation Support Group
ATO Safety and Technical Training
202-267-3407

From: Federal Aviation Administration

A letter stating the request for reduced or waived fees has been rejected.

From: Ramola Dharmaraj

To

Dean Torgerson
Manager, FOIA and Enforcement Group (AJI-172)
Litigation Support Group
ATO Safety and Technical Training
202-267-3407

Dear Mr. Torgerson,

I would like to follow up on your note to me regarding closing my FOIA request and noting that my request for a fee waiver is rejected.

1) My FOIA request notes that the overflights of aircraft and helicopters over the specified area is clearly being permitted, meaning there is clearly full knowledge on the parts of local administrative authorities and the FAA about these frequent and constant flights, otherwise they would not be occurring. My FOIA request does not address the permits for these craft or flights, but rather the correspondence among and between all affected bodies detailing, acknowledging, and otherwise referring to the flights.

2) My FOIA request is being made on a public website to be shared publicly. This information is of obvious interest to every single resident of the Wollaston, Quincy neighborhood named above, and to every resident of Quincy, MA, as also the neighboring Milton, MA, and indeed the whole of the Boston area who are subject to these frequent overflights, but provided no information whatsoever by local administrative bodies regarding their purpose, intent, and nature. This information will also be freely available to any journalist wishing to further pursue and write about this matter. I therefore would like to point out that my fee waiver request is made fully in the public interest.

Regardless, I would be obliged if you could kindly let me know what any fees might be to fulfil this request before proceeding, while reiterating my original request that these fees be waived in the interests of providing public information to Boston area residents.

I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,
Ms. Ramola Dharmaraj

From: Federal Aviation Administration

Ms. Dharmaraj,

I understand that you are not seeking copies of permits. Clearly there is an awareness that the flights are taking place. Quincy is in close proximity to Boston's Logan Airport, which would explain the frequent number of flights. However, you are asking for correspondence between various entities which pertain to permitting these flights. Aircraft are required to receive a clearance prior to entering the airspace in the vicinity of Boston's Logan Airport, but these clearances are issued by radio. If you would like audio recordings of these clearances being issued, it will be hundreds of hours of audio recordings that will cost thousands of dollars.

Dean Torgerson
Manager, FOIA and Enforcement Group (AJI-172)
Litigation Support Group
ATO Safety and Technical Training
202-267-3407

From: Ramola Dharmaraj

Dear Mr. Torgerson,

Thank you very much for your response and information.

I appreciate your acknowledgement of the awareness among all administrative bodies that the flights are taking place.

I do not wish to obtain audio recordings of radio clearances for the dozens of daily flights of the specified craft over the specified area, although audio transcripts of a few of these flights would be helpful; paying thousands of dollars however would not be feasible.

I must reiterate however that this FOIA request is being made fully in the public interest of all residents of the specified area, in the whole of Quincy and Milton, and the entire Boston area, and that all information made available will remain available here, on this public website, for all interested news media, and therefore once again I request a fee waiver for this information, since it is made fully in the interests of news gathering.

I would also like to clarify that this FOIA request specifically requests all written correspondence, contracts, emails, and memos between all affected parties (between private companies/individuals/government departments/agencies, air traffic control via FAA FSDO in Burlington, MA, and state and local Quincy, MA government and law enforcement) in relation to the permitted, frequent, and constant daily and nightly overflights of only certain specified aircraft over a certain specified area.

While I appreciate the proximity of Quincy to Boston Logan International Airport that you point out--as also, other smaller airfields closeby--this FOIA request does not relate to any regularly scheduled overflights of marked, commercial airliners or cargo aircraft from or to Logan, which would be visible and noticeable as such. To clarify and expand, this FOIA request specifically asks for detailed information on:

1) The irregular but continuous, constant/very frequent, daily and nightly overflights, sometimes at lower altitudes and sometimes at higher, sometimes at slower speeds and sometimes, therefore doubly noticeably at higher, of unmarked smaller aircraft (twin-engined, propeller-driven),and occasionally larger, unmarked craft, and unmarked helicopters (not traffic helicopters) over the Wollaston, Quincy area, and particularly over the house and yard specified.

2) The peculiarity of these flights being that they occur irregularly over the course of the day and night, could involve high-speed flying over and also returning immediately via the same flight path, slowly looping or circling around the specified area, and also, noticeably (audibly and visibly), in both the case of the airplanes and the helicopters, hovering over the specified house and yard, for noticeable periods of time, and occasionally, as documented once (helicopter, during the daytime, over the house), for as long as 30 minutes.

3) A further peculiarity of these flights being they appear to be often preceded by related or unrelated patterns of loud honking sounds from speeding or parked cars in the specified, once-peaceful residential area.

4) As a further note, this specified neighborhood in Quincy is about a mile from the coastline.

5) These flights and actions have been occurring continuously since Nov 2013.

I appreciate your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,
Ms. Ramola Dharmaraj

From: Federal Aviation Administration

Ms. Dharmaraj,

The scope of your request is too broad for the agency to conduct any records search, especially when you consider that thousands of aircraft operate within the National Airspace System (NAS) every day, and they do so without being referenced in any written correspondence, contracts, emails, and memos. Therefore, we are still unable to process your request as it is written. If you are interested in getting a breakdown on the number and types of aircraft operations in the Boston area, then that information would be available to you from the following FAA public Web site.

http://aspm.faa.gov/opsnet/sys/Main.asp?force=atads

Dean Torgerson
Manager, FOIA and Enforcement Group (AJI-172)
Litigation Support Group
ATO Safety and Technical Training
202-267-3407

From: Ramola Dharmaraj

Dear Mr. Torgerson,

Thank you for your note and link.

I will rewrite my request and continue to pursue this matter, since the repeated flights by the specific aircraft, including helicopters, described above, continue daily.

I would also like to point out that it is hard to believe that an "awareness" can exist among local and federal administrative bodies of specific flights by specific aircraft, including helicopters, without any kind of written correspondence or associated communications being involved.

I would like it to go on record especially that this FOIA request has focused on very specific aircraft, very specific aerial activities, and a very specific geographic area, and has made every effort not to be a "broad" request.

If you have any information for me regarding how best to rewrite my request in order for it to be successfully processed by the FAA, kindly let me know. I will also do my own research.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,
Ramola D

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2014-009216.

Thank you for your help.

From: Federal Aviation Administration

Ms. Dharmaraj,

According to your July 19 email, you indicated that you were going to rewrite your request, but we have not received any rewritten request. I understand that you find it hard to believe that there is not written correspondence between aircraft operators and the FAA as it pertains to the flights that you see, but as I've mentioned previously, thousands of aircraft operate within the National Airspace System every day and they do so without any type of written correspondence. If an aircraft needs to communicate with air traffic control it is done so via radio communications, but as you've indicated, you are not interested in receiving recorded audio communications.

Dean Torgerson
Manager, FOIA and Enforcement Group (AJI-172)
Litigation Support Group
ATO Safety and Technical Training

From: Ramola Dharmaraj

Dear Mr. Torgerson,

I would like to rewrite my request as follows:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

Please provide

1) All notifications of any kind informing of the presence, or of intended flights and aerial activities to be performed or being performed daily and nightly by small aircraft and helicopters under the aegis of Defense/USAF/DHS/Joint Task Force/Intelligence/DOJ/Law Enforcement/International Security/Global Governance, or private civilian contracts over the specific Quincy, MA area described below, whether a one-time notification or an ongoing correspondence, provided by Defense/USAF/DHS/Joint Task Force/Intelligence/DOJ/Law Enforcement//International Security/Global Governance, or civilian private companies or institutions to air traffic control via FAA FSDO in Burlington, MA, and/or to state and local Quincy, MA government and law enforcement in the Quincy and Boston Metro areas, which establish their full awareness of these flights and aerial activities, from the time period 1 Nov 2013 to the present date; and

2) A sampling of radio communications which would include all daily and nightly recorded audio communications between such aircraft and air traffic control at Burlington, MA, including clearances, for a short period of time, say between August 23, 2014, and August 25, 2014, both dates inclusive.

To clarify, this request seeks all notifications, written, email, or audio transcript via CD-ROM or digital file, whether one-time or ongoing, as pertaining to the permitted presence and frequent and continuous, looping back and forth, circling, and hovering, daily and nightly flights of civil, private, or Defense/USAF/DHS/Joint Task Force/Intelligence/DOJ/Law Enforcement//International Security/Global Governance aircraft and helicopters over particular houses and neighborhoods in the Elmwood/Pine/Norfolk St. location of the Wollaston area of Quincy, Massachusetts, and particularly over (therefore, referencing) the house and yard at 154, Pine Street, from the time period 1 Nov 2013 upto the present date.

As detailed in our correspondence above, this request does not refer to commercial or cargo aircraft to or from Boston Logan International Airport, nor does it refer to any of the thousands of flights of aircraft or helicopters over Boston which do not engage in the above-described aerial activity over the specified geographic area above, nor does it seek all audio transcripts of radio communications from such specified aircraft and helicopters, merely a sampling of two days' worth.

I request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

Also, as per our correspondence above, I reiterate that my FOIA request is being made on a public website to be shared publicly. This information is of obvious interest to every single resident of the Wollaston, Quincy neighborhood named above, and to every resident of Quincy, MA, as also the neighboring Milton, MA, and indeed the whole of the Boston area who are subject to these frequent overflights, but provided no information whatsoever by local administrative bodies regarding their purpose, intent, and nature. This information will also be freely available to any journalist wishing to further pursue and write about this matter. I therefore would like to point out that my fee waiver request is made fully in the public interest.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,
Ramola Dharmaraj

From: MuckRock

Hello Mr. Torgerson,

I would like to confirm that you received the updated version of this request. If any further action is required on this end, I would greatly appreciate an indication of such. Please do let me know if further clarification is needed.

Thank you!

From: Federal Aviation Administration

Ms. Dharmaraj,

I apologize for the delay in responding to your August 25 email. Based on the scope of your request, I will be forwarding it to the Air Traffic Organization’s Eastern Service Area, since they coordinate the responses for FOIA requests in which the responsive records are likely in the possession of the air traffic control facilities in New England. However, before doing so, you will need to select another air traffic control facility, because there are no air traffic control facilities in Burlington. Boston air traffic control handles the traffic in the vicinity of Quincy, so if you still want audio recordings, you would need to amend your request for communications between Boston TRACON and aircraft operating in the vicinity of Quincy. You will also need to specify the area in terms of altitude, for example, from the surface up to 1,000 feet. Finally, please select dates more recent than August 23 and 25, because audio recordings are maintained for 45 days.

Once again, my apology the delay.

Dean Torgerson
Manager, FOIA Group (AJI-172)
Litigation Support Group
ATO Safety and Technical Training
202-267-3407
dean.torgerson@faa.gov<mailto:dean.torgerson@faa.gov>

AJI appreciates your feedback<https://my.faa.gov/site/emailForm.html?send_to=amber.m.rivera@faa.gov>

From: Ramola Dharmaraj

Mr. Torgerson: Thank you very much for your note and information. My revised request as below. Please let me know at your earliest should this require any further specification. Thanks. Ramola D
*********************************************************************************
Dear Mr. Torgerson,

I would like to rewrite my request as follows:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

Please provide

1) All notifications of any kind informing of the presence, or of intended flights and aerial activities to be performed or being performed daily and nightly by small aircraft and helicopters under the aegis of Defense/USAF/DHS/Joint Task Force/Intelligence/DOJ/Law Enforcement/International Security/Global Governance, or private civilian contracts over the specific Quincy, MA area described below, whether a one-time notification or an ongoing correspondence, provided by Defense/USAF/DHS/Joint Task Force/Intelligence/DOJ/Law Enforcement//International Security/Global Governance, or civilian private companies or institutions to local air traffic control via Boston TRACON Air Control, and/or to state and local Quincy, MA government and law enforcement in the Quincy and Boston Metro areas, which establish their full awareness of these flights and aerial activities, from the time period 1 Nov 2013 to the present date; and

2) A sampling of radio communications which would include all daily and nightly recorded audio communications between such small aircraft and helicopters (specified above and below)--operating at altitudes from the surface up to 5,000 feet in the vicinity of Quincy--and air traffic control at Boston TRACON, including clearances, for a short period of time, say between October 9, 2014, and October 13, 2014, both dates inclusive.

To clarify, this request seeks all notifications, written, email, or audio transcript via CD-ROM or digital file, whether one-time or ongoing, as pertaining to the permitted presence and frequent and continuous, looping back and forth, circling, and hovering, daily and nightly flights of civil, private, or Defense/USAF/DHS/Joint Task Force/Intelligence/DOJ/Law Enforcement//International Security/Global Governance aircraft and helicopters over particular houses and neighborhoods in the Elmwood/Pine/Norfolk St. location of the Wollaston area of Quincy, Massachusetts, and particularly over (therefore, referencing) the house and yard at 154, Pine Street, from the time period 1 Nov 2013 upto the present date.

As detailed in our correspondence above, this request does not refer to commercial or cargo aircraft to or from Boston Logan International Airport, nor does it refer to any of the thousands of flights of aircraft or helicopters over Boston which do not engage in the above-described aerial activity over the specified geographic area above, nor does it seek all audio transcripts of radio communications from such specified aircraft and helicopters, merely a sampling of five days' worth.

I request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

Also, as per our correspondence above, I reiterate that my FOIA request is being made on a public website to be shared publicly. This information is of obvious interest to every single resident of the Wollaston, Quincy neighborhood named above, and to every resident of Quincy, MA, as also the neighboring Milton, MA, and indeed the whole of the Boston area who are subject to these frequent overflights, but provided no information whatsoever by local administrative bodies regarding their purpose, intent, and nature. This information will also be freely available to any journalist wishing to further pursue and write about this matter. I therefore would like to point out that my fee waiver request is made fully in the public interest.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,
Ramola Dharmaraj

From: Ramola Dharmaraj

Hello Mr. Torgerson,

I believe it has been 20 business days since the date of my revised and rewritten request, as per your recommendations. Given your information that Air Control clearance records expire within 45 days, I'd appreciate your immediate response.

Thank you,
Ramola Dharmaraj

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2014-009216.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2014-009216.

Thank you for your help.

From: Federal Aviation Administration

I no longer work in the FOIA Office, please remove me.
Regards,

Kerryaine Yarber-Hiller
Obstruction and Evaluation Group, AJV-15
Mission Support Services
(202) 267-3215

https://oeaaa.faa.gov

From: MuckRock

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 5, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2014-009216.

Thank you for your help.

From: Federal Aviation Administration

Ms. Dharmaraj,

Yesterday, I contacted the Air Traffic Organization’s Eastern Service Area FOIA Office and asked them for an update on the status of your request. They have not yet provided me with an update, but I will let you know as soon as they do.

Dean Torgerson
Manager, FOIA Group (AJI-172)
Litigation Support Group
ATO Safety and Technical Training
202-267-3407
dean.torgerson@faa.gov<mailto:dean.torgerson@faa.gov>

AJI appreciates your feedback<https://my.faa.gov/site/emailForm.html?send_to=amber.m.rivera@faa.gov>

From: Federal Aviation Administration

A no responsive documents response.

From: Ramola Dharmaraj

Dear Mr. Torgerson,

I would appreciate knowing the current status of my request, and would be most obliged if you could kindly let me know when I may expect a positive and informational response to this rather long-delayed FOIA request.

I appreciate that you have contacted the Air Traffic Organization's Eastern Service Area FOIA office in mid-January as you note above, and hope you can contact them once more as reminder. If I should contact them myself, kindly let me know.

Just FYI, the flights detailed in my original request have not stopped, and are continuing to this day, keeping my concerns current.

Thanks very much for your attention. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Ramola D/Dharmaraj

From: Federal Aviation Administration

The Eastern Service Area sent the response on January 29, so you should receive it sometime this week.

Dean Torgerson
Manager, FOIA Group (AJI-172)
Litigation Support Group
ATO Safety and Technical Training
202-267-3407
dean.torgerson@faa.gov<mailto:dean.torgerson@faa.gov>

AJI appreciates your feedback<https://my.faa.gov/site/emailForm.html?send_to=amber.m.rivera@faa.gov>

From: Ramola Dharmaraj

Mr. Torgerson,

Just to inform you, I have not received any response yet from the Eastern Service Area or FAA either by post (letter mail) or email.

Thanks,
Ramola D/Dharmaraj

From: Federal Aviation Administration

Good Evening,

Attached is the No Records response to the above FOIA request.

Respectfully,

Stacy M. Thomas
Management & Program Analyst
Administrative Services Group
Management Support Team, AJV-E52
(404) 305-5549 (office)
stacy.m.thomas@faa.gov<mailto:stacy.m.thomas@faa.gov>
[cid:image001.png@01CF7BF2.B6F6BF80]<https://https/ksn2.faa.gov/ajv/home/E/5/2new/SitePages/MST%20New%203.aspx/ksn2.faa.gov/ajv/home/E/5/2new/SitePages/MST%20New%203.aspx>[cid:image002.png@01CF7BF2.B6F6BF80]<https://ksn2.faa.gov/ajv/home/e/5/SitePages/Home.aspx>[cid:image003.png@01CF7BF2.B6F6BF80]<https://ksn2.faa.gov/ajv/home/E/Pages/category.aspx>
PROPRIETARY & CONFIDENTIAL** This email and any attachments are confidential and/or proprietary and intended solely for the named recipients. Unauthorized use, copying, or distribution is prohibited. If you received this e-mail in error, please notify me by replying and delete the message without copying or disclosing it. Thank you.

From: Ramola Dharmaraj

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT APPEAL

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing--both publicly here on Muckrock.com and via email as requested to FOIA-Appeals@faa.gov--to request reconsideration/appeal the denial of my FOIA request made originally via Muckrock.com on 5/05/2014, and revised and resubmitted after extensive correspondence with the FAA FOIA office on 10/15/2014, which was, after much delay, referred to the Eastern Service Area and received a "no-records" response on 2/12/2015. The reference number assigned to it was "Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Control No. 2014-009216(ES)." For the complete record of my correspondence with the FAA FOIA Office, please consult Muckrock.com at this link: Muckrock/Record of FOIA Request/2014-009216(ES)

My revised, resubmitted FOIA request, in its entirety was as follows:

"This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

Please provide

1) All notifications of any kind informing of the presence, or of intended flights and aerial activities to be performed or being performed daily and nightly by small aircraft and helicopters under the aegis of Defense/USAF/DHS/Joint Task Force/Intelligence/DOJ/Law Enforcement/International Security/Global Governance, or private civilian contracts over the specific Quincy, MA area described below, whether a one-time notification or an ongoing correspondence, provided by Defense/USAF/DHS/Joint Task Force/Intelligence/DOJ/Law Enforcement//International Security/Global Governance, or civilian private companies or institutions to local air traffic control via Boston TRACON Air Control, and/or to state and local Quincy, MA government and law enforcement in the Quincy and Boston Metro areas, which establish their full awareness of these flights and aerial activities, from the time period 1 Nov 2013 to the present date; and

2) A sampling of radio communications which would include all daily and nightly recorded audio communications between such small aircraft and helicopters (specified above and below)--operating at altitudes from the surface up to 5,000 feet in the vicinity of Quincy--and air traffic control at Boston TRACON, including clearances, for a short period of time, say between October 9, 2014, and October 13, 2014, both dates inclusive.

To clarify, this request seeks all notifications, written, email, or audio transcript via CD-ROM or digital file, whether one-time or ongoing, as pertaining to the permitted presence and frequent and continuous, looping back and forth, circling, and hovering, daily and nightly flights of civil, private, or Defense/USAF/DHS/Joint Task Force/Intelligence/DOJ/Law Enforcement//International Security/Global Governance aircraft and helicopters over particular houses and neighborhoods in the Elmwood/Pine/Norfolk St. location of the Wollaston area of Quincy, Massachusetts, and particularly over (therefore, referencing) the house and yard at 154, Pine Street, from the time period 1 Nov 2013 upto the present date.

As detailed in our correspondence above, this request does not refer to commercial or cargo aircraft to or from Boston Logan International Airport, nor does it refer to any of the thousands of flights of aircraft or helicopters over Boston which do not engage in the above-described aerial activity over the specified geographic area above, nor does it seek all audio transcripts of radio communications from such specified aircraft and helicopters, merely a sampling of five days' worth.

I request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

Also, as per our correspondence above, I reiterate that my FOIA request is being made on a public website to be shared publicly. This information is of obvious interest to every single resident of the Wollaston, Quincy neighborhood named above, and to every resident of Quincy, MA, as also the neighboring Milton, MA, and indeed the whole of the Boston area who are subject to these frequent overflights, but provided no information whatsoever by local administrative bodies regarding their purpose, intent, and nature. This information will also be freely available to any journalist wishing to further pursue and write about this matter. I therefore would like to point out that my fee waiver request is made fully in the public interest.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires."

Eastern Service Area's response to me on 2/12/2015 was as follows:

"This is an Air Traffic Organization, Eastern Service Area, no records response to your FOIA

request received in our office November 20, 2014 made under the provisions of Title 5 United States Code, Section 552 to the FAA. You requested all notification of any kind informing of the presence, or of intended flights and aerial activities to be performed or being performed daily and by small aircraft and helicopters under the aegis of Defense/USAF/DHS/Joint Task Force/Intelligence/DOJ/Law Enforcement/International Security/Global Governance, or private civilian contracts over Quincy, Massachussetts whether it is a one-time occurrence or ongoing correspondence via Boston TRACON airspace. You also wanted a sampling of radio communication of the daily and recorded audio communication between the aircraft listed from October 9, 2014 through October 13, 2014.

A records search was conducted at Boston Terminal Radar Approach Control, Boston Airport Traffic Control Tower and System Operations Services, System Operations Security Office. The search revealed no records or audio sampling was found for the government entities requested; therefore, we have no records.

There were no fees incurred in processing your request.

The undersigned and Mr. William M. Alexander, Director, Air Traffic Organization, Eastern Service Center are responsible for this no records response. You may request reconsideration of this determination by writing the Assistant Administrator for Finance and Management (AFN-140), Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20591 or through electronic mail at: FOIA-Appeals@faa. gov. Your request for reconsideration must be made in writing within 45 days from the date that the initial determination was made, and must include all information and arguments relied upon. Your appeal must also state that it is an appeal from the above-described denial of a request made under the FOIA and include your assigned control number. The envelope containing the appeal should be marked "FOIA."

Please refer to this control number in all subsequent correspondence. If you have any questions regarding this request, you may contact Stacy Thomas, Administrative Services Group, Management Support Team at (404) 305-5549.

Signed, (Valerie J Thompson for) Pearlis Johnson

Acting Regional Administrator, Southern Region

If you will note, during earlier correspondence with Mr. Dean Torgerson of the FAA FOIA Office, I further provided particulars on the specific aircraft and flights of concern, which continue to this day, (2/18/2015), in this note, sent in 7/10/2014, and excerpted below:

While I appreciate the proximity of Quincy to Boston Logan International Airport that you point out--as also, other smaller airfields closeby--this FOIA request does not relate to any regularly scheduled overflights of marked, commercial airliners or cargo aircraft from or to Logan, which would be visible and noticeable as such. To clarify and expand, this FOIA request specifically asks for detailed information on:

1) The irregular but continuous, constant/very frequent, daily and nightly overflights, sometimes at lower altitudes and sometimes at higher, sometimes at slower speeds and sometimes, therefore doubly noticeably at higher, of unmarked smaller aircraft (twin-engined, propeller-driven),and occasionally larger, unmarked craft, and unmarked helicopters (not traffic helicopters) over the Wollaston, Quincy area, and particularly over the house and yard specified.

2) The peculiarity of these flights being that they occur irregularly over the course of the day and night, could involve high-speed flying over and also returning immediately via the same flight path, slowly looping or circling around the specified area, and also, noticeably (audibly and visibly), in both the case of the airplanes and the helicopters, hovering over the specified house and yard, for noticeable periods of time, and occasionally, as documented once (helicopter, during the daytime, over the house), for as long as 30 minutes.

3) A further peculiarity of these flights being they appear to be often preceded by related or unrelated patterns of loud honking sounds from speeding or parked cars in the specified, once-peaceful residential area.

4) As a further note, this specified neighborhood in Quincy is about a mile from the coastline.

5) These flights and actions have been occurring continuously since Nov 2013.

As per the information provided by Mr. Dean Torgerson and by Ms. Pearlis Johnson/Mr. William Alexander, the Eastern Service Area in their final response, (and fully available on Muckrock.com,) I understand the following is true:

1) These frequent flights and overflights, during the day and during the night--including circling and recircling, and hovering over specific houses and yards, in particular the house and yard at 154 Pine Street--by small aircraft at fairly low altitudes, between surface and 5000 ft, possibly at a height of about 2000 ft, and by unmarked, non-traffic helicopters--in the vicinity of this named residential neighborhood in Quincy, Massachusetts, are not being disputed.

2) The knowledge and awareness of these flights by FAA and by local law enforcement, city, county, and state governments is not being disputed.

3) In other words, local law enforcement, city, county, and state governments, and the FAA are fully aware of these specific flights by these specific aircraft in the specific neighborhood in the specific city and state in which they are occurring.

4) However, no permits are required for these aircraft or indeed any aircraft to operate in the vicinity of the area specified--this residential neighborhood of Wollaston, Quincy, MA--to engage in these frequent flights.

5) Further, after searching records, no written communication/records of notifications or understanding has been found to exist between local law enforcement, city, state, county governments, FAA, and any of the referenced government entities in my original FOIA request, whether agencies of Defense or Intelligence or Justice, private or otherwise. According to the FAA FOIA: "Thousands of aircraft operate within the National Airspace System (NAS) every day, and they do so without being referenced in any written correspondence, contracts, emails, and memos."

6) Further, while audio clearances for flights entering airspace in the vicinity of Boston Logan International Airport are required, after searching records "at Boston Terminal Radar Approach Control, Boston Airport Traffic Control Tower and System Operations Services, System Operations Security Office," no audio sampling records have been found for these flights.

7) These flights are considered, by FAA FOIA to fall under the jurisdiction of Boston's TRACON: "Boston air traffic control handles the traffic in the vicinity of Quincy, so if you still want audio recordings, you would need to amend your request for communications between Boston TRACON and aircraft operating in the vicinity of Quincy. You will also need to specify the area in terms of altitude, for example, from the surface up to 1,000 feet. Finally, please select dates more recent than August 23 and 25, because audio recordings are maintained for 45 days."

From all of the above therefore, is it possible that:

1) These undisputed flights, which everyone (FAA/Local, city, state government) is fully aware of--in Wollaston, Quincy, MA--do not go through Boston TRACON after all, and therefore do not require audio clearances--in other words, that they are not considered to enter the vicinity of the airspace at Boston Logan, and therefore do not require audio clearances nor are recorded as being anywhere near Boston TRACON, which is why no audio sampling exists?

2) Knowledge and awareness of these very peculiar and very frequent flights--knowledge therefore of the whole long-term operation, project, or activity involving these frequent flights by these specific aircraft--as held by local, state, and federal administrative bodies is completely off-the-record, not documented anywhere, not in any kind of correspondence, not in any kind of official document, not even in a Memorandum of Understanding between agencies, and not even preserved as a telephonic or verbal record?

Does that make these flights Covert Flights then--although they are completely overt and visible and acknowledged--conducted covertly by Intelligence agencies or the US Air Force or some branch of DoD or a private contractor of same--for some covert, undisclosed purpose (such as covert domestic electronic surveillance/tracking or covert weapons testing/covert weapons discharge of invisible, directed-energy weapons on US citizens and residents)--which may be observed by all, but never documented or recorded by anyone (FAA/local, city, state government or law enforcement/Boston TRACON) as occurring? Is there an element of the "clandestine" to this activity, which I understand in military terminology indicates "active concealment"?

As you can see, the no-records response from Eastern Service Area on this matter merely underlines the above, and accentuates my concern.

I am writing to request reconsideration of this no-records response. Once again, I ask, as a United States citizen, resident in this neighborhood, and as a concerned citizen blogger, independent journalist, and writer, for information on these flights, I reiterate my original request, and ask, under the auspices of the Freedom of Information Act, specifically for the particular information (in whatever form--written/telephonic/audio/video/electronic) which 1) establishes for the FAA, Boston Air Traffic Control, and local, city, state government/law enforcement here in Quincy, Massachusetts, the full awareness of these flights in Wollaston, Quincy, 2), indicates which agency of the government or Air Force or Defense or civilian/private/commercial/academic entity is responsible for these flights and aerial activities, and 3), notes openly and clearly their purpose, intent, and mission. This request is made in the public interest, for purposes of informing the public, as a media request.

Kindly contact me for further information should you need any. I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Ramola D/Dharmaraj

Editor, Delphi Quarterly (www.delphiquarterly.com)

The Everyday Concerned Citizen (www.everydayconcerned.net)

The Wishing Well (www.artcreatewrite.com)

Author, Invisible Season (WWPH, 1998), Temporary Lives (University of Massachusetts Press, 2009) (www.ramolad.com)

154 Pine Street, Quincy, MA 02170

From:

Hello,

The purpose of this e-mail is to acknowledge receipt of your FOIA
Administrative Appeal in connection with the above referenced FOIA Control
Number.

Your Administrative Appeal will be processed as soon as possible.

Regards,

Jeb Kreischer
FOIA Management Analyst
Federal Aviation Administration

From:
requests@muckrock.com

To:
9-FOIA-Appeals/AWA/FAA@FAA,
Cc:
Stacy M Thomas/ASO/FAA@MSOCOEX
Date:
02/23/2015 10:19 AM
Subject:
RE: Freedom of Information Request #2014-009216

February 23, 2015
Federal Aviation Administration
Federal Aviation Administration
National Freedom of Information Act Staff, ARC-40
800 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20591
This is a follow up to request number 2014-009216:
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT APPEAL
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing--both publicly here on Muckrock.com and via email as
requested to FOIA-Appeals@faa.gov--to request reconsideration/appeal the
denial of my FOIA request made originally via Muckrock.com on 5/05/2014,
and revised and resubmitted after extensive correspondence with the FAA
FOIA office on 10/15/2014, which was, after much delay, referred to the
Eastern Service Area and received a "no-records" response on 2/12/2015.
The reference number assigned to it was "Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
Control No. 2014-009216(ES)." For the complete record of my correspondence
with the FAA FOIA Office, please consult Muckrock.com at this link:
Muckrock/Record of FOIA Request/2014-009216(ES)
My revised, resubmitted FOIA request, in its entirety was as follows:
"This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request
the following records:
Please provide
1) All notifications of any kind informing of the presence, or of intended
flights and aerial activities to be performed or being performed daily and
nightly by small aircraft and helicopters under the aegis of
Defense/USAF/DHS/Joint Task Force/Intelligence/DOJ/Law
Enforcement/International Security/Global Governance, or private civilian
contracts over the specific Quincy, MA area described below, whether a
one-time notification or an ongoing correspondence, provided by
Defense/USAF/DHS/Joint Task Force/Intelligence/DOJ/Law
Enforcement//International Security/Global Governance, or civilian private
companies or institutions to local air traffic control via Boston TRACON
Air Control, and/or to state and local Quincy, MA government and law
enforcement in the Quincy and Boston Metro areas, which establish their
full awareness of these flights and aerial activities, from the time
period 1 Nov 2013 to the present date; and
2) A sampling of radio communications which would include all daily and
nightly recorded audio communications between such small aircraft and
helicopters (specified above and below)--operating at altitudes from the
surface up to 5,000 feet in the vicinity of Quincy--and air traffic
control at Boston TRACON, including clearances, for a short period of
time, say between October 9, 2014, and October 13, 2014, both dates
inclusive.
To clarify, this request seeks all notifications, written, email, or audio
transcript via CD-ROM or digital file, whether one-time or ongoing, as
pertaining to the permitted presence and frequent and continuous, looping
back and forth, circling, and hovering, daily and nightly flights of
civil, private, or Defense/USAF/DHS/Joint Task Force/Intelligence/DOJ/Law
Enforcement//International Security/Global Governance aircraft and
helicopters over particular houses and neighborhoods in the
Elmwood/Pine/Norfolk St. location of the Wollaston area of Quincy,
Massachusetts, and particularly over (therefore, referencing) the house
and yard at 154, Pine Street, from the time period 1 Nov 2013 upto the
present date.
As detailed in our correspondence above, this request does not refer to
commercial or cargo aircraft to or from Boston Logan International
Airport, nor does it refer to any of the thousands of flights of aircraft
or helicopters over Boston which do not engage in the above-described
aerial activity over the specified geographic area above, nor does it seek
all audio transcripts of radio communications from such specified aircraft
and helicopters, merely a sampling of five days' worth.
I request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request
is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available
to the general public free of charge as part of the public information
service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news
media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for
commercial usage.
Also, as per our correspondence above, I reiterate that my FOIA request is
being made on a public website to be shared publicly. This information is
of obvious interest to every single resident of the Wollaston, Quincy
neighborhood named above, and to every resident of Quincy, MA, as also the
neighboring Milton, MA, and indeed the whole of the Boston area who are
subject to these frequent overflights, but provided no information
whatsoever by local administrative bodies regarding their purpose, intent,
and nature. This information will also be freely available to any
journalist wishing to further pursue and write about this matter. I
therefore would like to point out that my fee waiver request is made fully
in the public interest.
In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would
inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I
would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if
available or CD-ROM if not.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I
look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business
days, as the statute requires."
Eastern Service Area's response to me on 2/12/2015 was as follows:
"This is an Air Traffic Organization, Eastern Service Area, no records
response to your FOIA
request received in our office November 20, 2014 made under the provisions
of Title 5 United States Code, Section 552 to the FAA. You requested all
notification of any kind informing of the presence, or of intended flights
and aerial activities to be performed or being performed daily and by
small aircraft and helicopters under the aegis of Defense/USAF/DHS/Joint
Task Force/Intelligence/DOJ/Law Enforcement/International Security/Global
Governance, or private civilian contracts over Quincy, Massachussetts
whether it is a one-time occurrence or ongoing correspondence via Boston
TRACON airspace. You also wanted a sampling of radio communication of the
daily and recorded audio communication between the aircraft listed from
October 9, 2014 through October 13, 2014.
A records search was conducted at Boston Terminal Radar Approach Control,
Boston Airport Traffic Control Tower and System Operations Services,
System Operations Security Office. The search revealed no records or audio
sampling was found for the government entities requested; therefore, we
have no records.
There were no fees incurred in processing your request.
The undersigned and Mr. William M. Alexander, Director, Air Traffic
Organization, Eastern Service Center are responsible for this no records
response. You may request reconsideration of this determination by writing
the Assistant Administrator for Finance and Management (AFN-140), Federal
Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20591
or through electronic mail at: FOIA-Appeals@faa. gov. Your request for
reconsideration must be made in writing within 45 days from the date that
the initial determination was made, and must include all information and
arguments relied upon. Your appeal must also state that it is an appeal
from the above-described denial of a request made under the FOIA and
include your assigned control number. The envelope containing the appeal
should be marked "FOIA."
Please refer to this control number in all subsequent correspondence. If
you have any questions regarding this request, you may contact Stacy
Thomas, Administrative Services Group, Management Support Team at (404)
305-5549.
Signed, (Valerie J Thompson for) Pearlis Johnson
Acting Regional Administrator, Southern Region
If you will note, during earlier correspondence with Mr. Dean Torgerson of
the FAA FOIA Office, I further provided particulars on the specific
aircraft and flights of concern, which continue to this day, (2/18/2015),
in this note, sent in 7/10/2014, and excerpted below:
While I appreciate the proximity of Quincy to Boston Logan International
Airport that you point out--as also, other smaller airfields closeby--this
FOIA request does not relate to any regularly scheduled overflights of
marked, commercial airliners or cargo aircraft from or to Logan, which
would be visible and noticeable as such. To clarify and expand, this FOIA
request specifically asks for detailed information on:
1) The irregular but continuous, constant/very frequent, daily and nightly
overflights, sometimes at lower altitudes and sometimes at higher,
sometimes at slower speeds and sometimes, therefore doubly noticeably at
higher, of unmarked smaller aircraft (twin-engined, propeller-driven),and
occasionally larger, unmarked craft, and unmarked helicopters (not traffic
helicopters) over the Wollaston, Quincy area, and particularly over the
house and yard specified.
2) The peculiarity of these flights being that they occur irregularly over
the course of the day and night, could involve high-speed flying over and
also returning immediately via the same flight path, slowly looping or
circling around the specified area, and also, noticeably (audibly and
visibly), in both the case of the airplanes and the helicopters, hovering
over the specified house and yard, for noticeable periods of time, and
occasionally, as documented once (helicopter, during the daytime, over the
house), for as long as 30 minutes.
3) A further peculiarity of these flights being they appear to be often
preceded by related or unrelated patterns of loud honking sounds from
speeding or parked cars in the specified, once-peaceful residential area.
4) As a further note, this specified neighborhood in Quincy is about a
mile from the coastline.
5) These flights and actions have been occurring continuously since Nov
2013.
As per the information provided by Mr. Dean Torgerson and by Ms. Pearlis
Johnson/Mr. William Alexander, the Eastern Service Area in their final
response, (and fully available on Muckrock.com,) I understand the
following is true:
1) These frequent flights and overflights, during the day and during the
night--including circling and recircling, and hovering over specific
houses and yards, in particular the house and yard at 154 Pine Street--by
small aircraft at fairly low altitudes, between surface and 5000 ft,
possibly at a height of about 2000 ft, and by unmarked, non-traffic
helicopters--in the vicinity of this named residential neighborhood in
Quincy, Massachusetts, are not being disputed.
2) The knowledge and awareness of these flights by FAA and by local law
enforcement, city, county, and state governments is not being disputed.
3) In other words, local law enforcement, city, county, and state
governments, and the FAA are fully aware of these specific flights by
these specific aircraft in the specific neighborhood in the specific city
and state in which they are occurring.
4) However, no permits are required for these aircraft or indeed any
aircraft to operate in the vicinity of the area specified--this
residential neighborhood of Wollaston, Quincy, MA--to engage in these
frequent flights.
5) Further, after searching records, no written communication/records of
notifications or understanding has been found to exist between local law
enforcement, city, state, county governments, FAA, and any of the
referenced government entities in my original FOIA request, whether
agencies of Defense or Intelligence or Justice, private or otherwise.
According to the FAA FOIA: "Thousands of aircraft operate within the
National Airspace System (NAS) every day, and they do so without being
referenced in any written correspondence, contracts, emails, and memos."
6) Further, while audio clearances for flights entering airspace in the
vicinity of Boston Logan International Airport are required, after
searching records "at Boston Terminal Radar Approach Control, Boston
Airport Traffic Control Tower and System Operations Services, System
Operations Security Office," no audio sampling records have been found for
these flights.
7) These flights are considered, by FAA FOIA to fall under the
jurisdiction of Boston's TRACON: "Boston air traffic control handles the
traffic in the vicinity of Quincy, so if you still want audio recordings,
you would need to amend your request for communications between Boston
TRACON and aircraft operating in the vicinity of Quincy. You will also
need to specify the area in terms of altitude, for example, from the
surface up to 1,000 feet. Finally, please select dates more recent than
August 23 and 25, because audio recordings are maintained for 45 days."
From all of the above therefore, is it possible that:
1) These undisputed flights, which everyone (FAA/Local, city, state
government) is fully aware of--in Wollaston, Quincy, MA--do not go through
Boston TRACON after all, and therefore do not require audio clearances--in
other words, that they are not considered to enter the vicinity of the
airspace at Boston Logan, and therefore do not require audio clearances
nor are recorded as being anywhere near Boston TRACON, which is why no
audio sampling exists?
2) Knowledge and awareness of these very peculiar and very frequent
flights--knowledge therefore of the whole long-term operation, project, or
activity involving these frequent flights by these specific aircraft--as
held by local, state, and federal administrative bodies is completely
off-the-record, not documented anywhere, not in any kind of
correspondence, not in any kind of official document, not even in a
Memorandum of Understanding between agencies, and not even preserved as a
telephonic or verbal record?
Does that make these flights Covert Flights then--although they are
completely overt and visible and acknowledged--conducted covertly by
Intelligence agencies or the US Air Force or some branch of DoD or a
private contractor of same--for some covert, undisclosed purpose (such as
covert domestic electronic surveillance/tracking or covert weapons
testing/covert weapons discharge of invisible, directed-energy weapons on
US citizens and residents)--which may be observed by all, but never
documented or recorded by anyone (FAA/local, city, state government or law
enforcement/Boston TRACON) as occurring? Is there an element of the
"clandestine" to this activity, which I understand in military terminology
indicates "active concealment"?
As you can see, the no-records response from Eastern Service Area on this
matter merely underlines the above, and accentuates my concern.
I am writing to request reconsideration of this no-records response. Once
again, I ask, as a United States citizen, resident in this neighborhood,
and as a concerned citizen blogger, independent journalist, and writer,
for information on these flights, I reiterate my original request, and
ask, under the auspices of the Freedom of Information Act, specifically
for the particular information (in whatever
form--written/telephonic/audio/video/electronic) which 1) establishes for
the FAA, Boston Air Traffic Control, and local, city, state government/law
enforcement here in Quincy, Massachusetts, the full awareness of these
flights in Wollaston, Quincy, 2), indicates which agency of the government
or Air Force or Defense or civilian/private/commercial/academic entity is
responsible for these flights and aerial activities, and 3), notes openly
and clearly their purpose, intent, and mission. This request is made in
the public interest, for purposes of informing the public, as a media
request.
Kindly contact me for further information should you need any. I look
forward to your response.
Sincerely,
Ramola D/Dharmaraj
Editor, Delphi Quarterly (www.delphiquarterly.com)
The Everyday Concerned Citizen (www.everydayconcerned.net)
The Wishing Well (www.artcreatewrite.com)
Author, Invisible Season (WWPH, 1998), Temporary Lives (University of
Massachusetts Press, 2009) (www.ramolad.com)
154 Pine Street, Quincy, MA 02170
---
On Feb. 12, 2015:
Good Evening,
Attached is the No Records response to the above FOIA request.
Respectfully,
Stacy M. Thomas
Management & Program Analyst
Administrative Services Group
Management Support Team, AJV-E52
(404) 305-5549 (office)
stacy.m.thomas@faa.gov<mailto:stacy.m.thomas@faa.gov>
[cid:image001.png@01CF7BF2.B6F6BF80]<
https://https/ksn2.faa.gov/ajv/home/E/5/2new/SitePages/MST%20New%203.aspx/ksn2.faa.gov/ajv/home/E/5/2new/SitePages/MST%20New%203.aspx
>[cid:image002.png@01CF7BF2.B6F6BF80]<
https://ksn2.faa.gov/ajv/home/e/5/SitePages/Home.aspx>[
cid:image003.png@01CF7BF2.B6F6BF80]<
https://ksn2.faa.gov/ajv/home/E/Pages/category.aspx>
PROPRIETARY & CONFIDENTIAL** This email and any attachments are
confidential and/or proprietary and intended solely for the named
recipients. Unauthorized use, copying, or distribution is prohibited. If
you received this e-mail in error, please notify me by replying and delete
the message without copying or disclosing it. Thank you.
---
On Feb. 11, 2015:
Mr. Torgerson,
Just to inform you, I have not received any response yet from the Eastern
Service Area or FAA either by post (letter mail) or email.
Thanks,
Ramola D/Dharmaraj
---
On Feb. 3, 2015:
The Eastern Service Area sent the response on January 29, so you should
receive it sometime this week.
Dean Torgerson
Manager, FOIA Group (AJI-172)
Litigation Support Group
ATO Safety and Technical Training
202-267-3407
dean.torgerson@faa.gov<mailto:dean.torgerson@faa.gov>
AJI appreciates your feedback<
https://my.faa.gov/site/emailForm.html?send_to=amber.m.rivera@faa.gov>
---
On Feb. 3, 2015:
Dear Mr. Torgerson,
I would appreciate knowing the current status of my request, and would be
most obliged if you could kindly let me know when I may expect a positive
and informational response to this rather long-delayed FOIA request.
I appreciate that you have contacted the Air Traffic Organization's
Eastern Service Area FOIA office in mid-January as you note above, and
hope you can contact them once more as reminder. If I should contact them
myself, kindly let me know.
Just FYI, the flights detailed in my original request have not stopped,
and are continuing to this day, keeping my concerns current.
Thanks very much for your attention. I look forward to hearing from you.
Sincerely,
Ramola D/Dharmaraj
---
On Feb. 2, 2015:
A no responsive documents response.
---
On Jan. 13, 2015:
Ms. Dharmaraj,
Yesterday, I contacted the Air Traffic Organization’s Eastern Service Area
FOIA Office and asked them for an update on the status of your request.
They have not yet provided me with an update, but I will let you know as
soon as they do.
Dean Torgerson
Manager, FOIA Group (AJI-172)
Litigation Support Group
ATO Safety and Technical Training
202-267-3407
dean.torgerson@faa.gov<mailto:dean.torgerson@faa.gov>
AJI appreciates your feedback<
https://my.faa.gov/site/emailForm.html?send_to=amber.m.rivera@faa.gov>
---
On Jan. 12, 2015:
To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request,
copied below, and originally submitted on May 5, 2014. Please let me know
when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is
needed. You had assigned it reference number #2014-009216.
Thank you for your help.
---
On Jan. 12, 2015:
I no longer work in the FOIA Office, please remove me.
Regards,
Kerryaine Yarber-Hiller
Obstruction and Evaluation Group, AJV-15
Mission Support Services
(202) 267-3215
https://oeaaa.faa.gov
---
On Jan. 12, 2015:
To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request,
copied below, and originally submitted on May 5, 2014. Please let me know
when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is
needed. You had assigned it reference number #2014-009216.
Thank you for your help.
---
On Dec. 12, 2014:
To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request,
copied below, and originally submitted on May 5, 2014. Please let me know
when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is
needed. You had assigned it reference number #2014-009216.
Thank you for your help.
---
On Nov. 12, 2014:
Hello Mr. Torgerson,
I believe it has been 20 business days since the date of my revised and
rewritten request, as per your recommendations. Given your information
that Air Control clearance records expire within 45 days, I'd appreciate
your immediate response.
Thank you,
Ramola Dharmaraj
---
On Oct. 15, 2014:
Mr. Torgerson: Thank you very much for your note and information. My
revised request as below. Please let me know at your earliest should this
require any further specification. Thanks. Ramola D
*********************************************************************************
Dear Mr. Torgerson,
I would like to rewrite my request as follows:
This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request
the following records:
Please provide
1) All notifications of any kind informing of the presence, or of intended
flights and aerial activities to be performed or being performed daily and
nightly by small aircraft and helicopters under the aegis of
Defense/USAF/DHS/Joint Task Force/Intelligence/DOJ/Law
Enforcement/International Security/Global Governance, or private civilian
contracts over the specific Quincy, MA area described below, whether a
one-time notification or an ongoing correspondence, provided by
Defense/USAF/DHS/Joint Task Force/Intelligence/DOJ/Law
Enforcement//International Security/Global Governance, or civilian private
companies or institutions to local air traffic control via Boston TRACON
Air Control, and/or to state and local Quincy, MA government and law
enforcement in the Quincy and Boston Metro areas, which establish their
full awareness of these flights and aerial activities, from the time
period 1 Nov 2013 to the present date; and
2) A sampling of radio communications which would include all daily and
nightly recorded audio communications between such small aircraft and
helicopters (specified above and below)--operating at altitudes from the
surface up to 5,000 feet in the vicinity of Quincy--and air traffic
control at Boston TRACON, including clearances, for a short period of
time, say between October 9, 2014, and October 13, 2014, both dates
inclusive.
To clarify, this request seeks all notifications, written, email, or audio
transcript via CD-ROM or digital file, whether one-time or ongoing, as
pertaining to the permitted presence and frequent and continuous, looping
back and forth, circling, and hovering, daily and nightly flights of
civil, private, or Defense/USAF/DHS/Joint Task Force/Intelligence/DOJ/Law
Enforcement//International Security/Global Governance aircraft and
helicopters over particular houses and neighborhoods in the
Elmwood/Pine/Norfolk St. location of the Wollaston area of Quincy,
Massachusetts, and particularly over (therefore, referencing) the house
and yard at 154, Pine Street, from the time period 1 Nov 2013 upto the
present date.
As detailed in our correspondence above, this request does not refer to
commercial or cargo aircraft to or from Boston Logan International
Airport, nor does it refer to any of the thousands of flights of aircraft
or helicopters over Boston which do not engage in the above-described
aerial activity over the specified geographic area above, nor does it seek
all audio transcripts of radio communications from such specified aircraft
and helicopters, merely a sampling of five days' worth.
I request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request
is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available
to the general public free of charge as part of the public information
service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news
media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for
commercial usage.
Also, as per our correspondence above, I reiterate that my FOIA request is
being made on a public website to be shared publicly. This information is
of obvious interest to every single resident of the Wollaston, Quincy
neighborhood named above, and to every resident of Quincy, MA, as also the
neighboring Milton, MA, and indeed the whole of the Boston area who are
subject to these frequent overflights, but provided no information
whatsoever by local administrative bodies regarding their purpose, intent,
and nature. This information will also be freely available to any
journalist wishing to further pursue and write about this matter. I
therefore would like to point out that my fee waiver request is made fully
in the public interest.
In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would
inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I
would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if
available or CD-ROM if not.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I
look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business
days, as the statute requires.
Sincerely,
Ramola Dharmaraj
---
On Oct. 14, 2014:
Ms. Dharmaraj,
I apologize for the delay in responding to your August 25 email. Based on
the scope of your request, I will be forwarding it to the Air Traffic
Organization’s Eastern Service Area, since they coordinate the responses
for FOIA requests in which the responsive records are likely in the
possession of the air traffic control facilities in New England. However,
before doing so, you will need to select another air traffic control
facility, because there are no air traffic control facilities in
Burlington. Boston air traffic control handles the traffic in the vicinity
of Quincy, so if you still want audio recordings, you would need to amend
your request for communications between Boston TRACON and aircraft
operating in the vicinity of Quincy. You will also need to specify the
area in terms of altitude, for example, from the surface up to 1,000 feet.
Finally, please select dates more recent than August 23 and 25, because
audio recordings are maintained for 45 days.
Once again, my apology the delay.
Dean Torgerson
Manager, FOIA Group (AJI-172)
Litigation Support Group
ATO Safety and Technical Training
202-267-3407
dean.torgerson@faa.gov<mailto:dean.torgerson@faa.gov>
AJI appreciates your feedback<
https://my.faa.gov/site/emailForm.html?send_to=amber.m.rivera@faa.gov>
---
On Oct. 10, 2014:
Hello Mr. Torgerson,
I would like to confirm that you received the updated version of this
request. If any further action is required on this end, I would greatly
appreciate an indication of such. Please do let me know if further
clarification is needed.
Thank you!
---
On Aug. 25, 2014:
Dear Mr. Torgerson,
I would like to rewrite my request as follows:
This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request
the following records:
Please provide
1) All notifications of any kind informing of the presence, or of intended
flights and aerial activities to be performed or being performed daily and
nightly by small aircraft and helicopters under the aegis of
Defense/USAF/DHS/Joint Task Force/Intelligence/DOJ/Law
Enforcement/International Security/Global Governance, or private civilian
contracts over the specific Quincy, MA area described below, whether a
one-time notification or an ongoing correspondence, provided by
Defense/USAF/DHS/Joint Task Force/Intelligence/DOJ/Law
Enforcement//International Security/Global Governance, or civilian private
companies or institutions to air traffic control via FAA FSDO in
Burlington, MA, and/or to state and local Quincy, MA government and law
enforcement in the Quincy and Boston Metro areas, which establish their
full awareness of these flights and aerial activities, from the time
period 1 Nov 2013 to the present date; and
2) A sampling of radio communications which would include all daily and
nightly recorded audio communications between such aircraft and air
traffic control at Burlington, MA, including clearances, for a short
period of time, say between August 23, 2014, and August 25, 2014, both
dates inclusive.
To clarify, this request seeks all notifications, written, email, or audio
transcript via CD-ROM or digital file, whether one-time or ongoing, as
pertaining to the permitted presence and frequent and continuous, looping
back and forth, circling, and hovering, daily and nightly flights of
civil, private, or Defense/USAF/DHS/Joint Task Force/Intelligence/DOJ/Law
Enforcement//International Security/Global Governance aircraft and
helicopters over particular houses and neighborhoods in the
Elmwood/Pine/Norfolk St. location of the Wollaston area of Quincy,
Massachusetts, and particularly over (therefore, referencing) the house
and yard at 154, Pine Street, from the time period 1 Nov 2013 upto the
present date.
As detailed in our correspondence above, this request does not refer to
commercial or cargo aircraft to or from Boston Logan International
Airport, nor does it refer to any of the thousands of flights of aircraft
or helicopters over Boston which do not engage in the above-described
aerial activity over the specified geographic area above, nor does it seek
all audio transcripts of radio communications from such specified aircraft
and helicopters, merely a sampling of two days' worth.
I request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request
is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available
to the general public free of charge as part of the public information
service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news
media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for
commercial usage.
Also, as per our correspondence above, I reiterate that my FOIA request is
being made on a public website to be shared publicly. This information is
of obvious interest to every single resident of the Wollaston, Quincy
neighborhood named above, and to every resident of Quincy, MA, as also the
neighboring Milton, MA, and indeed the whole of the Boston area who are
subject to these frequent overflights, but provided no information
whatsoever by local administrative bodies regarding their purpose, intent,
and nature. This information will also be freely available to any
journalist wishing to further pursue and write about this matter. I
therefore would like to point out that my fee waiver request is made fully
in the public interest.
In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would
inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I
would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if
available or CD-ROM if not.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I
look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business
days, as the statute requires.
Sincerely,
Ramola Dharmaraj
---
On Aug. 18, 2014:
Ms. Dharmaraj,
According to your July 19 email, you indicated that you were going to
rewrite your request, but we have not received any rewritten request. I
understand that you find it hard to believe that there is not written
correspondence between aircraft operators and the FAA as it pertains to
the flights that you see, but as I've mentioned previously, thousands of
aircraft operate within the National Airspace System every day and they do
so without any type of written correspondence. If an aircraft needs to
communicate with air traffic control it is done so via radio
communications, but as you've indicated, you are not interested in
receiving recorded audio communications.
Dean Torgerson
Manager, FOIA and Enforcement Group (AJI-172)
Litigation Support Group
ATO Safety and Technical Training
---
On Aug. 18, 2014:
To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request,
copied below, and originally submitted on May 5, 2014. Please let me know
when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is
needed. You had assigned it reference number #2014-009216.
Thank you for your help.
---
On July 19, 2014:
Dear Mr. Torgerson,
Thank you for your note and link.
I will rewrite my request and continue to pursue this matter, since the
repeated flights by the specific aircraft, including helicopters,
described above, continue daily.
I would also like to point out that it is hard to believe that an
"awareness" can exist among local and federal administrative bodies of
specific flights by specific aircraft, including helicopters, without any
kind of written correspondence or associated communications being
involved.
I would like it to go on record especially that this FOIA request has
focused on very specific aircraft, very specific aerial activities, and a
very specific geographic area, and has made every effort not to be a
"broad" request.
If you have any information for me regarding how best to rewrite my
request in order for it to be successfully processed by the FAA, kindly
let me know. I will also do my own research.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Sincerely,
Ramola D
---
On July 11, 2014:
Ms. Dharmaraj,
The scope of your request is too broad for the agency to conduct any
records search, especially when you consider that thousands of aircraft
operate within the National Airspace System (NAS) every day, and they do
so without being referenced in any written correspondence, contracts,
emails, and memos. Therefore, we are still unable to process your request
as it is written. If you are interested in getting a breakdown on the
number and types of aircraft operations in the Boston area, then that
information would be available to you from the following FAA public Web
site.
http://aspm.faa.gov/opsnet/sys/Main.asp?force=atads
Dean Torgerson
Manager, FOIA and Enforcement Group (AJI-172)
Litigation Support Group
ATO Safety and Technical Training
202-267-3407
---
On July 10, 2014:
Dear Mr. Torgerson,
Thank you very much for your response and information.
I appreciate your acknowledgement of the awareness among all
administrative bodies that the flights are taking place.
I do not wish to obtain audio recordings of radio clearances for the
dozens of daily flights of the specified craft over the specified area,
although audio transcripts of a few of these flights would be helpful;
paying thousands of dollars however would not be feasible.
I must reiterate however that this FOIA request is being made fully in the
public interest of all residents of the specified area, in the whole of
Quincy and Milton, and the entire Boston area, and that all information
made available will remain available here, on this public website, for all
interested news media, and therefore once again I request a fee waiver for
this information, since it is made fully in the interests of news
gathering.
I would also like to clarify that this FOIA request specifically requests
all written correspondence, contracts, emails, and memos between all
affected parties (between private companies/individuals/government
departments/agencies, air traffic control via FAA FSDO in Burlington, MA,
and state and local Quincy, MA government and law enforcement) in relation
to the permitted, frequent, and constant daily and nightly overflights of
only certain specified aircraft over a certain specified area.
While I appreciate the proximity of Quincy to Boston Logan International
Airport that you point out--as also, other smaller airfields closeby--this
FOIA request does not relate to any regularly scheduled overflights of
marked, commercial airliners or cargo aircraft from or to Logan, which
would be visible and noticeable as such. To clarify and expand, this FOIA
request specifically asks for detailed information on:
1) The irregular but continuous, constant/very frequent, daily and nightly
overflights, sometimes at lower altitudes and sometimes at higher,
sometimes at slower speeds and sometimes, therefore doubly noticeably at
higher, of unmarked smaller aircraft (twin-engined, propeller-driven),and
occasionally larger, unmarked craft, and unmarked helicopters (not traffic
helicopters) over the Wollaston, Quincy area, and particularly over the
house and yard specified.
2) The peculiarity of these flights being that they occur irregularly over
the course of the day and night, could involve high-speed flying over and
also returning immediately via the same flight path, slowly looping or
circling around the specified area, and also, noticeably (audibly and
visibly), in both the case of the airplanes and the helicopters, hovering
over the specified house and yard, for noticeable periods of time, and
occasionally, as documented once (helicopter, during the daytime, over the
house), for as long as 30 minutes.
3) A further peculiarity of these flights being they appear to be often
preceded by related or unrelated patterns of loud honking sounds from
speeding or parked cars in the specified, once-peaceful residential area.
4) As a further note, this specified neighborhood in Quincy is about a
mile from the coastline.
5) These flights and actions have been occurring continuously since Nov
2013.
I appreciate your attention to this matter.
Sincerely,
Ms. Ramola Dharmaraj
---
On July 7, 2014:
Ms. Dharmaraj,
I understand that you are not seeking copies of permits. Clearly there is
an awareness that the flights are taking place. Quincy is in close
proximity to Boston's Logan Airport, which would explain the frequent
number of flights. However, you are asking for correspondence between
various entities which pertain to permitting these flights. Aircraft are
required to receive a clearance prior to entering the airspace in the
vicinity of Boston's Logan Airport, but these clearances are issued by
radio. If you would like audio recordings of these clearances being
issued, it will be hundreds of hours of audio recordings that will cost
thousands of dollars.
Dean Torgerson
Manager, FOIA and Enforcement Group (AJI-172)
Litigation Support Group
ATO Safety and Technical Training
202-267-3407
---
On June 30, 2014:
To
Dean Torgerson
Manager, FOIA and Enforcement Group (AJI-172)
Litigation Support Group
ATO Safety and Technical Training
202-267-3407
Dear Mr. Torgerson,
I would like to follow up on your note to me regarding closing my FOIA
request and noting that my request for a fee waiver is rejected.
1) My FOIA request notes that the overflights of aircraft and helicopters
over the specified area is clearly being permitted, meaning there is
clearly full knowledge on the parts of local administrative authorities
and the FAA about these frequent and constant flights, otherwise they
would not be occurring. My FOIA request does not address the permits for
these craft or flights, but rather the correspondence among and between
all affected bodies detailing, acknowledging, and otherwise referring to
the flights.
2) My FOIA request is being made on a public website to be shared
publicly. This information is of obvious interest to every single resident
of the Wollaston, Quincy neighborhood named above, and to every resident
of Quincy, MA, as also the neighboring Milton, MA, and indeed the whole of
the Boston area who are subject to these frequent overflights, but
provided no information whatsoever by local administrative bodies
regarding their purpose, intent, and nature. This information will also be
freely available to any journalist wishing to further pursue and write
about this matter. I therefore would like to point out that my fee waiver
request is made fully in the public interest.
Regardless, I would be obliged if you could kindly let me know what any
fees might be to fulfil this request before proceeding, while reiterating
my original request that these fees be waived in the interests of
providing public information to Boston area residents.
I look forward to your response.
Sincerely,
Ms. Ramola Dharmaraj
---
On May 19, 2014:
A letter stating the request for reduced or waived fees has been rejected.
---
On May 15, 2014:
Dear Mr. Dharmaraj,
This is in response to your May 5 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA
2014-9216) request, which sought correspondence between various entities,
agencies, and organizations, which relate to permitting the frequent and
continuous daily flights over the location described in your request. We
are unable to conduct a records search based on the scope of your request,

because there are no permits required to operate aircraft in the vicinity
of the area described in your request. Therefore, we wil be closing your
request.
Dean Torgerson
Manager, FOIA and Enforcement Group (AJI-172)
Litigation Support Group
ATO Safety and Technical Training
202-267-3407
---
On May 5, 2014:
To Whom It May Concern:
This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request
the following records:
Please provide all correspondence including memos, emails, and contracts
between private companies/individuals/government departments/agencies, air
traffic control via FAA FSDO in Burlington, MA, and state and local
Quincy, MA government and law enforcement relating to the permitted
frequent and continuous daily and nightly flights of small and large
civil, private, or military aircraft over particular houses and
neighborhoods in the Elmwood/Pine/Norfolk St. location of the Wollaston
area of Quincy, Massachusetts, and particularly over (therefore,
referencing) the house and yard at 154, Pine Street, from the time period
1 Nov 2013 upto the present date.
I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this
request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made
available to the general public free of charge as part of the public
information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the
news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for
commercial usage.
In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would
inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I
would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if
available or CD-ROM if not.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I
look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business
days, as the statute requires.
Sincerely,
Ramola Dharmaraj
Filed via MuckRock.com
E-mail (Preferred): requests@muckrock.com
For mailed responses, please address (see note):
MuckRock News
DEPT MR 11586
PO Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819
PLEASE NOTE the new address as well as the fact that improperly addressed
(i.e., with the requester's name rather than MuckRock News) requests might
be returned by the USPS as undeliverable.
[attachment "Dharmaraj_rspn_2014-009216_1.pdf" deleted by Jeb
Kreischer/AWA/FAA]

From: Ramola Dharmaraj

Hello--

May I know the status of this appeal, which was submitted in February, 2015?

Thanks.
Ramola D

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