After Mayor McGinn’s August 28th Town Hall meeting at Southwest Teen Life Center (WSB coverage here), we brought you followups on two of the issues citizens asked him about – computer access and a bike lane that was about to be built without neighborhood discussion. Now, a third – Alki Community Council president Tony Fragada called the mayor’s attention to the FAA’s public-comment process on the “Greener Skies” proposal, which would (among other things) bring the flight path a lot closer to Alki, Admiral, and the rest of north West Seattle. Today was scheduled to be the comment deadline – after public meetings last week, neither of which was in or near West Seattle (here’s our coverage of the closest one, which was in Ballard). We just got word from the mayor’s office that he has sent the FAA a letter asking for an extension, AND for a meeting on the south side of the city (Beacon Hill is concerned too). Read on for the full text of the letter:
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Greener Skies Environmental Assessment.
Since the public comment period on the Greener Skies Initiative was announced, I have been hearing from residents throughout Seattle about the possible impacts the proposed flight operation changes could have regarding jet engine noise over their neighborhoods.
In particular, those concerned neighborhoods are primarily from areas where flight operations are already a significant issue. While it appears that these new procedures could reduce noise overall and narrow flight paths, it is unclear whether or not these changes might direct flights disproportionately over a specific community, who could then experience greater noise impacts as a result.
The residents of many areas of Seattle are concerned that they have not had an adequate opportunity either to hear from the FAA about these proposed changes or to comment on them. I respectfully request that the FAA extend the comment period on the Greener Skies EA an additional 30 days and in that interim period schedule a public comment meeting in a south Seattle location, as the prior meeting was on the opposite side of the city. I would also like a meeting with FAA staff to receive a briefing to better understand the desired goals of the initiative and how they will be achieved.
Thank you for your consideration of this request.
We’ll follow up to see how the FAA replies.