Former NASA astronaut and test pilot on Burien’s new airport noise committee

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By Jack Mayne

The newly-appointed Burien city airport noise committee includes a former astronaut and test pilot and a retired Boeing field airport noise officer, along with business representatives and City Council members.

The committee is comprised of three business community representatives, three Burien residents and three members of the Burien City Council. The Council heard brief presentations from the applicants before selecting them at the Monday (Jan. 9) session.

NASA photo of John O. Creighton in the late 1980s.

Astronaut, test pilot
John O. Creighton, 73, is a retired NASA astronaut who was pilot and commander on three space missions, and is retired in west Burien (EDITOR’S NOTE: This is not the same John Creighton who serves as President of the Port of Seattle Commission).

Creighton was born in Orange, Texas, on the Texas-Louisiana border, but graduated from Ballard High School in 1961 and received a bachelor of science degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1966 and a master of science in Administration of Science and Technology from George Washington University in 1978.

He also is a former Boeing test pilot and certified captain on all Boeing’s passenger planes, from the 737 through the 777 and “help develop the new 787.” He also is a retired Navy captain.

Creighton was a Boeing chief and test pilot, and is credited as one of the first to fly the F-14 Tomcat fighter jet.

“With my life long work in the aviation field, I believe I can be an asset to the Burien Airport Committee,” he wrote on his application for the committee appointment.

‘Noise Officer’
Another member of the committee is Sharyn Parker, the retired “noise officer” from the King County International Airport at Boeing Field. She said she has “25 years experience lobbying transportation and environmental issues.”

The business community representatives are: Jill Esau, Jay Hasbrouck, and Matthijs van Leeuwen.

The third resident on the new committee is John Parness, an attorney who lives in the area and a founding member of Quiet Skies Coalition, the Burien group formed to fight the recent orders by the Federal Aviation Administration for increases low-level flights over the city after takeoff from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Jill C. Esau

Business members
Jill C. Esau in her application said she saw “opportunities attached to the proximity we have in Burien to the airport. There are also concerns to address as well.” She lists her experience as a volunteer teacher for the International School for Entrepreneurial Leadership in the U.S. and India as well as managing he family owned rental properties.

Jay Hasbrouck

Jay Hasbrouck says he is a principal in the Hasbrouck Research Group. In a website posting, he says he is an anthropologist and “strategist committed to leading teams through exceptional product, service and systems innovation.”

Hasbrouck said in his application for the airport committee that he thinks Burien “has an obligation to ensure that its citizens’ quality of life and natural environment are not degraded by proximity to the airport, and that it should also leverage its proximity to the airport to build a base of professional businesses that relay on frequent air travel.”

He lists a special skill as “research in airline passenger experiences.”

Matthijs van Leeuwen

The third business member is Matthijs van Leeuwen, who lists himself as a business owner of Dutch Dog Design and Lion Share Properties, and who is a resident of the Seahurst neighborhood who also owns a business in Boulevard Park.

“To a certain degree my business relies on the Port of Seattle, both the airport and the seaport.”

Van Leeuwen said in his application that he understands “the importance of the airport serving the growth of this region, and a long-term solution is needed.”

Three City Councilmembers were appointed to the airport committee. Mayor Lucy Krakowiak, Debi Wagner and Nancy Tosta are on the committee. Councilmember Lauren Berkowitz was selected before Tosta, but she withdrew from membership.

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8 Responses to “Former NASA astronaut and test pilot on Burien’s new airport noise committee”
  1. Ctac says:

    Can’t stand the heat/noise,then stay outta the kitchen,move away.

  2. Stuart says:

    Sounds like a great mix of perspectives, I appreciate the Burien City Council setting this up, and also the citizens who are stepping up.

  3. T4Man says:

    Concern about noise became an issue because aircraft taking off from the airport are being routed west directly over the city. This is a recent change.

  4. Question Authority says:

    Bezerkoitz withdrew when she heard the meetings actually had to be attended in person.

  5. Lakeview Too says:

    Just your low-key, friendly neighborhood astronaut. Four space flights, NBD. So how cool is THAT?!

  6. Peter says:

    To paraphrase Lynyrd Skynyrd: Airplane noise does not bother me. Do gang shootings bother you?

    • anonymous says:

      yes they do, but the planes are almost worse, because they happen 24/7, the shootings rarely kill an innocent person in a home, and they are spread out, I want the shootings to be dealt with in a safe manner too.

  7. michael says:

    if you peeps in btown think its loud over there just come to 12th ave s between bulovard park and des moines way that noise is nothing compared to what we put up with 24/7 here every 3 mins. flying as low as 100ft or less dose anyone know if there is a class action law suit going on about this if so I want in the port is making billions and we all suffer, one pissed of citizen of burien

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