Sea-Tac Airport Director Addresses Noise Issues At C.A.S.E. Meeting
Story & Photos by Rachel M. Lusby
Noise problems were the primary topic on the minds of at least 30 attendees at Wednesdayâ€™s C.A.S.E. meeting (Citizens Against SeaTac Expansion). Managing Director of Sea-Tac International Airport, Mark Reis, was there to answer questions.
Also in attendance was Port of Seattle Media Officer Perry Cooper.
Reis began the meeting by saying â€œairports are big facilities and they have impact.â€ He says not only is the noise something to be acknowledged, but so are the environmental impacts on the areas around the airport.
â€œThe environmental initiatives Iâ€™m taking are something Iâ€™m very proud of,â€ he says.
Sea-Tac Airport, according to Reis, has the most aggressive recycling program out of most all other airport facilities in the nation. He says the programs in place, including a storm water project, a plan to bring bio-jet fuel to the airport as soon as 2012, are â€œdiscretionary actions on our part;â€ meaning they are being done without the request or requirement of any rules or laws.
After his quick speech, Reis allowed for questions from the audience. Many were concerned about the noise level since the completion of the third runway.
â€œThe F.A.A. had a disorganized approach to using the third runway,â€ Reis said. â€œWe helped the F.A.A. understand the use of the third runway was important to us and to them and we made a remarkable change in two months.â€
As for the noise level, Reis says they are in the process of checking that their projections from the Part 150 study were accurate. He says the perception that they have decided what the outcome of all this is going to be, is inaccurate.
Comments and suggestions of how to resolve the noise problem began to come from the audience.
Suggestions of building a wall, such as what is found at the King County International Airport/Boeing Field, and a â€œhush house,â€ where aircraft engine maintenance and testing is done so the noise does not affect neighboring areas, were among the most popular ideas.
Reis simply said â€œduring the single situation evaluation we will consider what could be used to cut noise.â€
He said a wall may or may not be a safety hazard in this situation but they will be looking into as an option.
Other concerns from attendees of the meeting were property values. One woman was upset over the devaluing of her property because of the airport noise but having to still pay taxes to the Port of Seattle.
â€œNone of the property tax goes to the airport,â€ Reis said. â€œThat money goes to the seaport.â€