New GPS-guided flight paths into Sea-Tac airport will planes to significantly shorten their landing routes, saving gas and perhaps reducing noise for many homes in Seattle, including the Central District.
But, of course, the changes also mean new residents will experience more noise than before. Many folks in West Seattle, Beacon Hill and South Seattle are upset with what they see as a lack of outreach on the part of the FAA. Mayor McGinn has convinced the FAA to hold a community meeting from 6-8 p.m. October 23 at New Holly Gathering Hall.
They want the technical jargon in the program’s draft environmental report translated not just into laymen’s terms, but also into the diverse languages spoken in South Seattle so that residents can better understand how much more air traffic and noise the program might bring to their neighborhoods.
“We just want a lot more clarity,” said North Beacon Hill resident Ticiang Diangson. “We’re not even really sure what the impacts on us will be right now.”
Designed to improve flight safety, Greener Skies uses satellite-guided technology to minimize potential miscommunication between air traffic controllers and pilots. It also shifts the flight paths of planes equipped with the new technology, concentrating their descents along more consistent and direct routes over smaller areas, saving fuel and reducing carbon emissions.
The new approach method was tested this summer at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
If the FAA approves Greener Skies after the environmental-impact report is finalized, the agency could begin phasing it in as soon as next year, starting with two of Sea-Tac’s busiest carriers, Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines.
Speaking of flight paths, it you heard a woosh around 7 this morning, that was your humble editor flying to St. Louis for the week. If you see anything happening in the neighborhood, email us so we can check it out!
If anything, our family has noticed an increase on planes being lower to the ground with their landing gear deployed.
Definitely fewer planes screaming overhead recently here.
For a while it was constant, one after another, all day. Now it’s just every once in a while.
I like the flight noise. It drowns out the constant sirens and highway noise. Plus I can look up and imagine flying. Living too close to the ambulance corridor to care about noise.
I fly alot, so, I’ll take the shorter flight path. That gives me a few extra minutes of life at home after almost weekly trips. Probably 2 hours or more over the year. I noticed the difference on the Alaska flights. Swooped down much faster rather than cruising in over the north end. It’s nice to see the house and now I’ll be home soon.
The flight path has been in place for many, many years. Most folks moved under it, and did so while the planes flew their old pattern. More planes then came, and the poor folks that had no forward thought then started to complain. I for one find the flight path comforting. There is a schedule there, I know when Eva comes in and BA and many other regulars. I intentionally bought under the path and will be sad if it decreases more.
The frequency of flights southbound over 21st & Union has dropped noticeably. Our backyard used to have low flights with headways of only a few minutes most afternoons and evenings. Now there is still traffic but there is a good amount of time between each plane. I think the planes have gotten quieter too as the engine technology improves.
but the flights seem to disrupt my internet service.
I am fine with hearing airplanes and trains. That is how I know I live in a real city. Only problem is when they fly real low, and likely with a certain RPM, my house likes to resonate a bit…
to hearing less noise. I agree with Central Cinema that the number has dropped a bit recently. I have noticed hearing trains in the distance only when all else is quiet here in the early morning or late night. The train noise is quite a bit more intense at the Seattle School District headquarters and would not be welcome in your home.
I hate it when I am having an in person or telephone conversation or listening to music or any program and there is a sudden interruption to hearing–an airplane overheard. There are many studies that demonstrate that noise has a negative impact on the mental and then physical health of people.
No doubt. Just take a look around at ourselves here in the city.