Letters to the Editor

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AIRCRAFT: Greener skies for Seattle, noisier for us

Letter by Donald E. Olson Jr., Tacoma on Aug. 9, 2012 at 12:50 pm with 10 Comments »
August 9, 2012 12:59 pm

The Federal Aviation Administration is proposing a plan to shift aircraft approaches to Sea-Tac airport. The main reason for this change is: fewer flights over North Seattle homes and lower emissions.

That’s nice, but the revised plans call for flights arriving from the southwest, rather than dog-legging over Olympia, to be replaced by more direct routings over Joint Base Lewis-McChord and the neighborhoods north of state Route 16.

At least the cacophonous noise of those 100 to 150 daily overflights should add joy to the residents who for the past 12 years have been subjected to extreme noise levels of low-flying military
aircraft operating 24/7 out of JBLM, as well as the noise emanating from emergency medical helicopters flying to local hospitals.

Enough is enough. Indeed, it is time for me to consider moving to Olympia or North Seattle, where the politicians attempt to alleviate noise for their residents.

Leave a comment Comments → 10
  1. surething says:

    I have lived here so long that I am immune to it.

  2. Well Don, At least we’ll be spared some of the noise when the surface wind is from the South and runway 16 is in use. Small comfort.

  3. SwordofPerseus says:

    I lived right below the flight path for MacChord AFB from 1989 to 1998. South 72nd and Montgomery St.’s. When the C-141’s would be on final approach for touch and go practices you could smell the JP4 in the air as they would dump fuel. I could after a few years tell you exactly what type aircraft was overhead just by the sound. I don’t miss that. I wonder how beneficial health wise it is to inhale jet fuel vapor?

  4. Remember years ago when Henry Jackson died, the port renamed sea tac, Jackson airport ? Didn’t even check with Tacoma who put up a chunk of the money to build the airport.

    The arrogance of Seattle, the port of Seattle and the FAA.

    It took local hero ivar Haglund to stand for office at the port, win in a landslide, vote back the name to sea tac, then stand down.

    A great man.

  5. MadTaxpayer says:

    Move! I won’ miss you!

  6. Was there a TNT article about this? There was an article in the Seattle Times:


    The proposal has yet to have an environmental impact study, and there are public meetings near the two most impacted areas, Federal Way (for the new southern approach) and Ballard (for the new circle around)

    If you feel strongly, I suggest getting people together to present at the public meetings.

    Me, I live right by a street crossing on the main railroad line (three whistles every time) and right under the helicopter exit to the west for JBLM. I am still like a little kid, getting excited when all these wonders of technology and engineering go by.

    I have a noise generator, a window fan and earplugs for overnight guests who may not be as positive as I am about the sounds of freedom and commerce.

  7. bobbysangelwife says:

    Awwww…..people are such WEENIES. lol…I live ON POST, less than half a mile from our glorious airfield. I have the privilege of hearing and seeing our aircraft coming and going every day. They fly straight down between our housing area. Seriously, what a bunch of WHINERS we have living around this state.
    And since I live on post I can tell you that we don’t have “100-150 operating 24/7″ aircraft flying around on a daily basis….that’s a massive over-exaggeration if I ever heard one..lol…

    You live near a military installation, when you bought your home you knew that. You cannot claim “oh I didn’t know” ignorance about aircraft flying overhead, it’s ridiculous—stupid quite frankly.

  8. alindasue says:

    The complaint here is about Seatac airport traffic, not the military base – although at this distance from the airport, the jets will still be high enough in elevation that the noise level will still be less than the military air traffic that flies over my house every day – not that I am complaining about any of the air traffic.

    We hear air traffic from the military base daily at my house, but rarely is it loud enough that we actually notice it much above all the other city noises. I worked in Seatac for nearly a decade less than a quarter mile from the end of one of the runways. It got loud at work when they used that runway – and changing the approach routes isn’t going to change that – but once you got a mile or so away from the airport, you’d pretty much have to see the jets to even be aware they were there on most days.

  9. “overflights should add joy to the residents who for the past 12 years have been subjected to extreme noise levels of low-flying military
    aircraft operating 24/7 out of JBLM”

    McChord has been there longer than 12 years. Grew up in Spanaway, didn’t like the noise fo the airplanes…I MOVED you moron.

  10. itwasntmethistime says:

    I don’t think it’s fair to change the flight path from one neighborhood to another. People factor in a lot of things when they decide where to live, including noise. The people who bought homes in North Seattle did it knowing they would be subjected to airplane noise. They chose it, so they shouldn’t be complaining about it. If the noise bothered them they should have chosen a house in a different area.

    We have a similar issue in my neighborhood. There are no streetlights. So people buy houses here then try to rally the people who already lived here to start an expensive LID for streetlights. If something about a neighborhood bothers you, buy somewhere else.

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