Seattle Times: South Seattle neighbors worried about Greener Skies

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.

7 thoughts on “Seattle Times: South Seattle neighbors worried about Greener Skies”

  1. Sorry, but mobs of people freaking out over a maximum ambient noise increase of 0.9 dB mostly illustrates the systemic failure of our public education system to instill a basic understanding of science in the population. It seems like the FAA could have handled some of their public meetings better, but they’re basically right: they can’t hold meetings in everyone’s local library. Good for them, lame to the Seattle Times for pandering to this silliness with a front-page splash.

  2. I suggest everybody find out exactly what is happening prior to commenting. It’s not “ambient noise” and it isn’t a decibel number calculated using actual data. It’s a “noise model” that was generated using algorithms that the FAA could not explain. I attended both meetings – in Ballard and in Federal Way. There is a compelling reason the FAA set another meeting: the proposal, which the FAA is openly acknowledges is being pushed by Alaska, is going to significantly increase noise in SE Seattle. Alaska is doing this to save fuel costs. So many people from SE Seattle showed at the Ballard meeting that the FAA was shocked. The FAA people were from Boston and California. One nice FAA gentleman earnestly told us the stadiums were 5 miles from the Sea-Tac runways. He was from San Diego – a real expert on Seattle.

  3. What Bruce said…
    No one from the FAA has said the proposal “will significantly increase noise in SE Seattle.”

    Also, “Quieter Skies” appears to be purposely conflating two things:
    1) the FAA acknowledges that Alaska wants to save fuel
    2) “Quieter Skies” claims that the proposal will increase noise.

    The number of planes isn’t increasing, and the planes are using less fuel.

    So far, no person or group has offered the barest hypothesis how the proposal could increase noise over Beacon Hill – or Seatac.

    The whole thing is starting to sound like a conspiracy theory.

  4. From the experience of this summer, I think the new routes actually reduce the noise for some of us on north east beacon hill. They might increase the noise elsewhere on the hill, but that isn’t all new noise, some of it is my old noise, and excuse me if I don’t really want it back :-). This issue appears to be one that might not get a consensus over the whole length of beacon hill, some parts of the hill may gain some noise but others (like my block) may be getting a break from airplane noise that.

    On another note, I think it is misleading to minimize the fact that these new routes will reduce the kinds of gases that lead to global warming. I myself am not willing to sacrifice the environment, even if I’m not fond of corporations. Global warming is serious, worrying instead that one particular company might make a little more or less money seems like a misplaced priority.

  5. The idea that someone representing the FAA couldn’t explain the particulars of the mathematical algorithms used in its noise modeling, which was probably contracted out to a company that specializes in acoustic analysis, is hardly surprising. The world is full of specialized types of work that are hard for people who don’t do it to describe.

  6. Wow. If your personal noise is reduced, then the plane noise is OK? It’s fine for our 26 public schools? Or the two hospitals? That sentiment is really disheartening for our community.

  7. @Quieter Skies, I don’t really see how your own argument is any different from what you said in your last comment. Your position seems to be that as long as your personal noise is reduced, then it’s okay that it’s increased for pretty much every neighborhood north of Beacon Hill. They have schools and hospitals too. Even if I believed that there’s going to be a significant increase in noise, which I don’t, I don’t view my city as a collection of warring neighborhoods. That’s what I find disheartening for our community.

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