Eric Scigliano of Crosscut has posted an article about the airplane noise situation on Beacon Hill. It’s not hopeful:
“Greener Skies’ environmental assessment, which the Federal Aviation Administration approved in November, finds that noise impacts will diminish in broad vertical swaths from Wallingford and Fremont to downtown Seattle and Federal Way on the west and from Lake City to the Rainier Valley to the town of Pacific. But they’ll increase along the axis of Sea-Tac Airport’s runways, over Greenlake, the U-District, Capitol Hill, and, especially, Beacon Hill.”
Elsewhere on Crosscut today, Scigliano writes about retired airline pilot (and Beacon Hill neighbor) Dana Gerry, who argues that the airport could take steps to improve the noise situation, such as reducing airport hours and enforcing limitations on when jets can drop their landing gear and wing flaps.
According to Gerry, dropping landing gear and flaps too early burns more fuel and makes more noise. He has seen pilots heading to Sea-Tac drop their gear as early as 6,000 feet, about 18 miles from the airport.
“‘If they would just hold gear and flaps up till they got to the outer marker, about 1,700 feet, they’d save as much fuel as they’d use on a roundabout approach.’ An approach like the Elliott Bay to Duwamish loop that spares residential areas, but which the airlines reject because it adds distance.”