Sea-Tac Airport Noise Hotline Complaints Continue

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The Regional Commission on Airport Affairs (RCAA) has a blog where they post frequent updates on all things having to do with Sea-Tac Airport, including noise and other complaints.

It’s a great resource for anyone concerned about increased airport noise or other problems.

The RCAA blog links to raw data (as an .xls Excel doc) provided by the Port of Seattle, and below is a re-post of a recent story the RCAA wrote up about the Port’s airport noise hotline (the number is 206-787-5393 and the website is here).

“As you might expect with a file of essentially raw data, there are a few glitches of little consequence,” warned Chas Talbot, RCAA webmaster. Talbot said the glitches include duplicate names, two different addresses for the same phone number, and so on.

Here’s the RCAA re-post:

For the six months from September 2009 through February 2010, the Sea-Tac noise hotline recorded noise complaints from more than 300 different households, according to a log of complaints released to RCAA by the Airport yesterday. Calls came in from more than 50 different ZIP codes, 25 different cities, & from all four Western Washington area codes.

With multiple calls from the same household NOT included, here is a month-by-month breakdown:

  • September 2009 99
  • October 2009 64
  • November 2009 29
  • December 2009 22
  • January 2010 51
  • February 2010 44

It is striking that noise impacts are felt & reported in places far, far removed from the very small area defined by the 65 DNL maps — Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Kirkland, & even Sumner, to mention a few.

The number of complaints is noteworthy, also, because nothing ever seems to happen at the Airport as the result of citizens complaining to the hotline’s voice-mail system, so there seems to be little purpose to making the call. Yet the complaints continue.

Also, according to the RCAA, the next Part 150 noise study workshop will be Wednesday, June 9th at 6:30pm:

The next public workshop in Sea-Tac Airport’s Part 150 noise study has been scheduled for 6.30 p.m., Wednesday, 9 June, at Cedarhurst Elementary School in Burien, according to an announcement made at the meeting of the Port Commission on 23 March. An agenda for the workshop has not been released at this time.

Cedarhurst Elementary School is located at 611 So. 132nd, Burien, 98168. It is one of the Highline schools that has been rebuilt to reduce overflight noise in the classrooms, under the terms of the 2002 agreement between the School District, the Port District, & the FAA. (More details about the work at Cedarhurst will be found on the School District’s website at

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16 Responses to “Sea-Tac Airport Noise Hotline Complaints Continue”
  1. Joan H says:

    I have filed noise complaints and every time I receive a response from the Port indicating that it’s not SeaTac Airport noise I hear, but Boeing Field or overflight noise. Seriously? I do know the difference between noise coming from the airport and overflight noise – which is very different. The response also includes a computer graphic of flights for the day of complaint and there are a few lines from Boeing and overflights, but heavy lines for the airport. We get noise from jets waiting to take off to the south – as they’ve removed all the trees that buffered the noise for the third runway. We hear jet engines revving up ALL DAY long on those days (usually cloudy and rainy).

    Our house vibrates from early morning until late into the night when they are taking off to the south AND our neighbor who grew up in the house next door and then purchased it from his parents complains to me about the airplane noise when he doesn’t have to be to work early in the morning. It drives him crazy and he’s always lived in the neighborhood! Not the Port’s fault there is significantly louder airport noise than before? Yes, it is and they should do the right thing and help sound insulate the vast numbers of homes that are affected!

  2. Andrew says:

    SeaTac related noise in Shoreline? That seems a little far fetched. Look friends, in order for a plane to land it must decrease in altitude at some point in time.

    • Sandra says:

      I was awakened at 4:41 a.m. this morning, IN SHORELINE, by a damn airplane flying too low right over our home. Then another at 4:59 a.m. I have a demanding job and do not appreciate being woke up an hour earlier than I usually get up. Depending on the season, airplanes will boom over our neighborhood starting at 10:45 p.m. and continue until nearly 1:00 a.m. every 4 minutes – yes, I’ve diligently recorded into the wee hours of the night their flights over my home. I’ve complained continually, and will continue to do so whether or not they are counting just ONE of my complaints. I promise to annoy the airport with my complaints as much as they are annoying me with their disregard to my peace and quiet at night. AND, I didn’t move to the Shoreline area expecting to have to deal with this noise. Never expected it. To just move, as the above person suggests is completely infeasible, and you know it!

  3. S Brown says:

    We’ve lived here since 1991 and until the 3rd runway was in use, we only heard the planes if they had to take off and land in a different direction because of weather.

    Now, I have a lot of trouble sleeping. In fact I now have to sleep with my mp3 player on and the in-ear headphones on in order to block out the noise! It is completely unbearable.

    As much as I like the Burien area, I can’t take it much longer.

  4. Jack Pham says:

    Look it is quite simple. Airports have Airplanes. Airplanes have big engines, these engines make noise when they are near the airport. Actually they make noise when ever they are flying, but since you live near the airport, you hear them more than I do up north. There is a simple fix if you do not like jet engine noise, and that is NOT to live near the airport. Good Grief! Simply MOVE already!

  5. Joan H says:

    We don’t live NEXT to the airport, but unless you live in the surrounding area you just can’t understand the noise issues…

  6. Jason says:

    The frequency of noise over West Seattle, from Alki, Admiral, The Junction on southward has been increasing. It’s after midnight now and the roar of jets continue. This did not happen in West Seattle until their new flight path put them SURROUNDING the peninsula…giving us noise coming and going. From a realtor’s point of view I heard this: PROPERTY VALUES FROM ALKI, ADMIRAL & THE JUNCTION will DIVE over the next year as the rest of Seattle discovers the area is in the flight path now. The unelected body of the FAA has single handedly taken values of the neighborhood down tens of thousands now…to well over a hundred thousand dollars PERMANENTLY, within a year from now, while the eastside now gets off easy and scott free. This is not fair. Does the FAA director live on the east side. We’re fine with taking our fair share of noise…but not the BULK of it. This must stop.

  7. Matt says:

    I have lived in Normandy Park all my life. The plan noise since the 3rd runway is horrible. From plans revving their engines, to small but loud plans now flying directly over our home at low altitudes. This should not be allowed unless the pay for some sort of noise reduction in the homes. However, who wants to have to keep their doors and windows closed all the time. They should not be allowed to just decide now they want to fly over my home. They didn’t do it a year ago and I am not near the 3rd runway. In many airports around the country the airplanes either have to reduce their speed considerably or take off different inclines to control noise. This should be required out of Sea Tac as well!!!! Something has to change.

  8. Byron Potter says:

    Since opening of third runway planes inbound & outbound make the turn to the west & fly over our house. This did not happen before opening third runway. Apparently #2 runway made the turns further south over Tacoma. They are coming out of the turn as they pass over our house & the larger planes are even closer to the ground than if they had traveled further south before making the turn. Also being in the turn to the west the engines are much louder & Lower to the ground than if they had traveled further south before making the turn. We need relief, tI happens night & day, early morning, late night . Why can’t you move the west turn more to the south over the industrial Tacoma Tideflats where runway #2 turns? Byron

  9. michael says:

    we should all file a class action law suit aganst the noise and decrest property values we should be compensated lets all gettogether and do this im sick and tired of the noise

  10. Jill says:

    I contend that the areas affected by airport noise continues to expand. We didn’t have any problems with airport noise when we first moved east of the airport in 1995. By 1997 they were allowiing engine run up at all hours of the day and night, then we started having general aviation fly over our house. The north end of the airport was the worst. So we moved to the sourth end. Last night was the first time that we heard a high pitched whining noise coming from the airport. Like the sound of an auxiliary power unit. Every time they get complaints their solution is not to build hush houses it is to buy up more land around the airport. The amount of noise they create at all hours of the day and night is inhumane. Government is the absolute worst neighbor anyone can have, because there is never a solution where the Port compromises with the residents. They are allowed to make all the noise they want.

  11. mimo says:

    Hi. I have a question about the area between S150th St and S152nd St and 4th Ave S and 8th Ave S. Are you annoyed by the noise of airplanes? Do you know someone who lives in that area and suffers from the noise problem? I’m thinking about moving that area. On map, Sea Tac airport seems close and I’d like to know about the reality of noise issue in Burien.
    If you know about anything about the noise in that area, pls. leave a comment.
    Thank you

  12. joe says:

    Is at me or are the north bound flights on a diffrent route or what? I live in SW. Seattle Highland Park neighborhoodam regularly woken up by north bound departures in the morning. Also the night departures are rather annoying as well? I dont know if it will be good or bad for SW. seattle with the satellite gradual decent program going starting. Any answer would be great. Thanks you

    • Coverofnight says:

      I thought I heard that they’re doing work on the center runway and have to temporarily divert flights.

      If I’m mistaken, someone please correct; thanks!

  13. Paul Zankich says:

    AT 0516am on 28 August 2012 a large plane traveling north over Puget Sound off the West Seattle Coast. I presume it turned East into Elliot bay and on to Seatac or Boeing Field. This plane was very loud compared to recent flybys and was easily 80db at my home 4200 block three blocks up from Beach Drive.
    How do I find out what carrier this was ? This plane sounded like they did back in the middle seventies like a stage one noisy plane flying low and near the Coast.

    • Kevin says:

      It looks like the old Webtrak site has moved here: I can’t get it to work right now, but the old site would let you scroll back through earlier data and look-up flights for several days back, see if you can get it to work, Hovering over a plane icon should give you flight number, owner, origin and destination.

      I think that it took a little while ( a day or two?) before you could check noise data, but once that’s available you can see what the different noise meters recorded as a plane went past it.

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