The photo is from local pilot Vlad Oustimovitch, taken the first time he flew a newly labeled departure route announced by the Federal Aviation Adeministration earlier this month for pilots using Visual Flight Rules while arriving at and departing from Boeing Field (officially King County International Airport) just east of West Seattle. (In the photo, that’s Alki Point toward the top, Schmitz Park near the bottom.)
He tipped us to the changes: The FAA says it canceled two previous routes and replaced them with “newly defined” routes, though its announcement and King County’s FYI stress that “The new routes follow existing air traffic flight tracks that are assigned by BFI ATCT [air-traffic-control tower] and no new areas will experience new air traffic overflights. The new VFR arrival and departure routes do not introduce air traffic to any new areas.”
The FAA says the changes were made to increase safety “by increasing separation between arrival and departure flows into (Boeing Field), Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and Renton Municipal Airport.” The FAA says this is necessary because there have been some “Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) events involving VFR aircraft arriving and departing [Boeing Field].” To see the newly labeled arrival/departure routes, scroll through this FAA document below (or here):
Each route is labeled with the number of aircraft expected to use it daily. Oustimovitch says the main change he noticed was the addition of an Alki Point departure route, as shown in his photo above; he also sent this document that included the old routes.
Again, this change – which took effect two weeks ago – isn’t supposed to result in air traffic anywhere that you didn’t see or hear it before. But if you think you’re experiencing noise related to Boeing Field flights, here’s how to report that.