I imagine that a lot of Central District neighbors took advantage of our warm summer weather with backyard dining and entertaining. And I bet that they also had more than one conversation interrupted by jet noise during those events.
As we talked about last year, our neighborhood lies due north of the SeaTac runways, with planes lining up for descent roughly along 12th and 20th Avenues.
But according to a Seattle Times article this week, that could be changing sometime in the next 15 years when a new GPS-enabled automated air-traffic control system takes over. The added precision of the system would allow some jets to take a new path over Elliot Bay instead of lining up further north on the course that brings them over Seattle neighborhoods. Additionally, the system would allow planes to glide all the way in, reducing engine noise during descent.
Here’s a video that helps explain the plan:
Of course timelines are the tricky part for a big project like this. 80% of the SeaTac fleet would be capable of using the system by 2013, but problems integrating the automated system with existing one could push things further out. The entire NextGen air-traffic control system is supposed to be in place by 2025.
In the meantime, capitolhillflightnoise.blogspot.com has some helpful links and numbers where you can report problems with jet noise.
I will be so old then I won’t be able to hear them…
The estimate of ANNUAL savings of 2.1M gallons of fuel and 25,000 TONS of CO2 emissions would seem to make this a higher priority than the FAA rep seems to feel that it is. He was all, ‘meh, this will take a long time’. That’s crazy, IMO. Someone needs to light a fire under his butt.
I’m going to email Sen. Patty Murray, Pres. Obama and anyone else I can find and push them to get behind fast-tracking this system.
It’s the screaming, shrieking, yelling group of young children in a nearby back yard that’s driven us out of our orn back yard every evening for the past four years…the occassional overflying jet is a minor inconvenience in comparison.
I’m guilty of this too, but I think it’s funny when people in the city complain about the noises of, well… a city.
First of all, city noise is different from sustained airplane flights overhead. After all there is a City ordinance against excessive noise. Secondly, the only quiet anyone is going to experience with this new flight tracking plan is North Seattle. The shortened route promises to dump more planes over us 24/7 to handle the load. Pray and hope it is quieter. This is truly a dump against the poorest neighborhoods in the city. This is not “city noise”! Unless you agree that only parts of Seattle qualify as city – ie those parts of Seattle that were chosen to be under the flight path 24/7!
We should work to make it as pleasant as possible. Why should we allow our urban neighborhood to become more noisy and polluted than others? Are we not as deserving of peace as all other Seattle residents?
I really appreciated the move of the air traffic away from 19th and 20th Avenue. Until recently the noise had definitely been increasing during the past 5 years and I am not sure why. But, the situation has improved recently.
According to the animation & Seattle Times story, it would put less flights over us. They would instead turn over Elliot bay and join up on the SeaTac glide path over the stadiums in SODO, avoiding the Central District and other neighborhoods.
I was referring less to the noise of airplanes (which also can drive me batty, although not as much as hearing the train whistle blow in the middle of the night), and more to the comment about children playing in their back yard. I’m crossing fingers that the adjusted flight paths will lessen noise, although if I have to wait until 2025, I probably won’t be around to enjoy it!