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Part 150 Noise Study update at 1/22 Port Commission Meeting

January 21st, 2013 at 4:27 am | No Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

The Port of Seattle Commission’s January 22 meeting (agenda) will include an update on Sea-Tac Airport’s Part 150 Noise Compatibility Study.

The Part 150 study will be used to develop a plan for reducing noise impacts from the airport wherever possible, and to limit future noise impact. According to the announcement, Tuesday’s update at the Port Commission meeting “will include information on the draft recommended options for reducing aircraft noise in the new proposed noise remedy area around the airport.”

Information about the current study, which should be completed later this year, is on the website.

The meeting will be held at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Conference Center International Auditorium on Tuesday, January 22. The public part of the meeting starts at 2 p.m. See the agenda for further information.


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Crosscut: Not much hope for airplane noise reduction

January 14th, 2013 at 4:52 pm | 1 Comment | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Expected airplane noise changes under the new plan. Green means less noise, brown means more. Source.

Expected airplane noise changes under the new plan. Green means less noise, brown means more. Source.

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.”

Read more here.

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.”

Read more here.


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Airplane noise meeting veers off the path

November 15th, 2012 at 4:46 am | 10 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

David Suomi of the FAA spoke with the audience. Photo by Wendi Dunlap.

About 100 people from Beacon Hill and other neighborhoods came to Cleveland High School on Tuesday night for a meeting hosted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Port of Seattle, but the meeting did not go as planned.

The Port and FAA intended the meeting to “provide information on existing flight procedures into and out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Boeing Field,” and started the evening with an introductory “Aviation 101″ slide presentation. The crowd had other ideas.

Previously, the FAA had been criticized by some for the strictness of their meetings in Ballard and Federal Way, when residents were not given an opportunity to ask questions. This time, it was clear that they intended to let people ask questions, and ask they did.

During the presentation, people in the audience frequently broke in with shouted questions to ask about the topic that most were there for: airplane noise over Beacon Hill and other communities under the Sea-Tac flight path. There was no printed agenda available, so the neighbors in attendance were restless, and in no mood to wait through presentations to get a turn to speak.

The basic issue, said neighbor Tina Ray of the Quieter Skies Task Force with audible agreement from the crowd, is that flights overhead are “every 45 seconds to two minutes, and they are darn low. And it’s been going on for a year.”

The Port and FAA representatives would not commit to installation of more noise monitors on Beacon Hill, but promised to take residents’ concerns seriously. Some neighbors were skeptical.

Ray expressed the frustration many were feeling: “We’re not making it up; we haven’t dreamed this… This is what’s going on right now in Southeast Seattle. This is what the discussion needs to be.”

The crowd listening in the Cleveland High School auditorium. Photo by Wendi Dunlap.


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FAA/Port to meet with community tonight

November 13th, 2012 at 3:58 am | No Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Photo by Dr. Wendy Longo via Creative Commons/Flickr.

Reposting this as a reminder: the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Port of Seattle meeting originally scheduled for October 23 has been rescheduled for tonight, November 13, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Cleveland High School, 5511 15th Ave. S. on Beacon Hill.

The FAA, Port, and Boeing Field representatives are holding the meeting, they say, to “provide information on existing flight procedures into and out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Boeing Field.”

Members of the Quieter Skies Task Force, a group of Beacon Hill and other Southeast Seattle neighbors, plan to be at the meeting in force, bringing concerns about recent and planned future airplane noise over our neighborhoods, and a petition signed by more than 300 neighbors. See our earlier post about the original October 23 meeting.


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“Greener Skies” flight plan gets FAA approval

November 4th, 2012 at 3:10 am | 12 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

This is part of a map on the Greener Skies website labeled “Future South Flow Arrival Procedures Over Current Flight Track Density, North of Airport.” See the full map here.

As reported yesterday in the Seattle Times, the FAA has approved the new “Greener Skies” flight method to land planes at Sea-Tac Airport new way to land planes at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport received final approval from the Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday.

In this method, arriving planes would approach the airport in a smooth descent, instead of the stairstep pattern they currently use. According to the FAA, this will save millions of dollars in fuel use per year, and it will also be safer, by reducing the potential for miscommunication between pilots and air traffic controllers.

Though the plan has these advantages, many residents of neighborhoods under the flight path are concerned about Greener Skies’ auditory impact. Information that has been published about the changes implies that the plan would condense the flight path, possibly sending more flights over Beacon Hill than current flight paths do. Neighbors including North Beacon Hill’s Quieter Skies Task Force requested a meeting with the FAA to discuss the plan and ask questions about the very technical information that has been published so far.

The FAA turned down the request for a meeting on Greener Skies, but offered to hold a general meeting about air traffic on October 23. The meeting was then cancelled, due to the unavailability of a key FAA official.

Erik Stanford of the Quieter Skies Task Force sent out this letter to supporters yesterday:

“The FAA and the Port of Seattle abruptly cancelled our meeting just 5 days before it was scheduled. The meeting was cancelled within hours of receiving the following agenda:

  1. FAA to compel the Port of Seattle to install more noise monitors
  2. FAA to fund the Port of Seattle to purchase, install and actively monitor the devices
  3. Determine process for expanding the use of “Fly Quiet” procedures for Sea-Tac departures (in lieu of a “Noise Abatement” flight pattern)
  4. Explain what “fly Quiet” procedures/protocols are available? Being utilized? (ex: powering back on departure, lowering landing gear closer to airport, etc.)
  5. Extend the current FAR Part 150 Noise Study for Sea-Tac Airport to include 98144, 98118, and 98108.

We have rescheduled the meeting for Tuesday, November 13th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the Cleveland High School Theater located at 5511 15th Ave S. Translation services and refreshments will be provided.”

According to the Times, less than 15 percent of arriving Sea-Tac flights will use the new plan next spring, starting with Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines. The FAA will gradually expand Greener Skies over time.


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FAA meeting rescheduled for November 13

October 30th, 2012 at 11:04 pm | 8 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Port of Seattle meeting originally scheduled for October 23 at New Holly has been rescheduled for Tuesday, November 13, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Cleveland High School, 5511 15th Ave. S. on Beacon Hill.

The FAA, Port, and Boeing Field representatives are holding the meeting, they say, to “provide information on existing flight procedures into and out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Boeing Field.”

Members of the Quieter Skies Task Force, a group of Beacon Hill and other Southeast Seattle neighbors, plan to be at the meeting in force, bringing concerns about recent and planned future airplane noise over our neighborhoods, and a petition signed by more than 300 neighbors. See our earlier post about the meeting.

Photo by C r u s a d e r via Creative Commons/Flickr.


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Quieter Skies/FAA meeting postponed

October 19th, 2012 at 5:47 am | 2 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

No sooner did we post about the upcoming Federal Aviation Administration meeting than, as reported in the Seattle Times, the meeting was cancelled.

According to the FAA, “Key officials were unavailable for the Oct. 23 date.” The meeting will be rescheduled for sometime in November.


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Quieter Skies update: meeting with FAA next Tuesday

October 18th, 2012 at 5:24 am | 2 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Neighbor Tina Ray sent this letter to the blog about the Quieter Skies task force here on the Hill:

Hope everyone is enjoying the fall! All parties included on this email chain were on my earlier airplane noise list – if you have friends and neighbors interested in this issue, I encourage you to forward this email! We also have a Facebook page: Quieter Skies – you can “like” us and keep updated on what we are doing as a community.

Our meeting with the FAA is next Tuesday, October 23 from 6:30 to 8:30 at the New Holly Gathering Hall – the address is 7054 32nd Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118.

This meeting is very important for our neighborhood, and I encourage everyone to attend. Please get the word out to all your neighbors – this is such an important issue for our community.

I have flyers printed, and I have been delivering them to houses, passing them out at the Beacon Hill light rail station, and handing them to just about everyone I encounter throughout my day. In addition, these flyers are being translated into several languages, so all our neighbors can join together at this meeting. We are also trying to line up translators for the meeting – Spanish, Somali, Chinese, and Tagalog. If we need additional languages, let us know!

WE NEED HELP GETTING THE WORD OUT. If anyone can spend an hour passing out flyers, it would really help us out. I have flyer copies at my house, and we can forward the printable document to anyone interested. Black & white copies are inexpensive – about a nickel apiece, but I am more than happy to provide neighbors with copies myself.

Also: if you haven’t signed our petition, here is the link.

We are presenting the signatures and comments to the FAA at the meeting. If you haven’t signed, please do and PASS THE LINK ON TO YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS!


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Seattle Times: South Seattle neighbors worried about Greener Skies

September 24th, 2012 at 4:34 pm | 7 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Alexa Vaughn at the Seattle Times has written an article about the FAA’s new Greener Skies flight path proposal, and South Seattle residents’ worried response to the plan. Some Beacon Hill neighbors are quoted in the article, along with regional FAA administrator David Suomi, and Robert Bismuth of the Magnolia Community Council.

Though Mayor Mike McGinn recently sent the FAA a letter requesting that the FAA reopen the Greener Skies comment period and schedule a meeting in South Seattle to discuss it, the Times reports that the upcoming October 23 meeting at NewHolly will not be about Greener Skies:

“The FAA has scheduled a public meeting for Oct. 23 in South Seattle, but only to address air traffic and noise in general, Suomi said. Extending the public-comment period for Greener Skies and hosting a meeting specifically about its impact on that part of town is not going to happen, he said.”

More at the Seattle Times.


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FAA schedules Beacon Hill meeting 10/23

September 22nd, 2012 at 3:12 pm | No Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

The West Seattle Herald is reporting that the FAA has scheduled a public forum on South Beacon Hill to discuss the Greener Skies program and other air traffic issues (see previous posts here, here, and here). The meeting will be October 23 from 6-8 p.m. at the NewHolly Gathering Hall, 7054 32nd Ave. S. Please stay tuned for further information as it becomes available.


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