Story, Photos & Video by Scott Schaefer 
A crowd of around 120 concerned residents gathered in the multipurpose room of Gregory Heights Elementary School on Tuesday night, April 24, to hear updates from the Quiet Skies Coalition on airplane noise, fighting the FAA, the Port of Seattle and more.
Moderated by 2017 Burien ‘Citizen of the Year’ Larry Cripe – a retired Alaska Airlines pilot – the evening started with an overview about the Quiet Skies Coalition’s (QSC) latest efforts to stop the FAA from turning noisy turboprop airplanes over Burien (recently reversed with a Categorical Exclusion, aka ‘CATEX ‘); how “phenomenol” the group’s relationship with Burien City Manager Brian Wilson and Attorney Lisa Marshall have become, and expanding the group’s fight to more strongly target the Port and Alaska Airlines.
Also on hand were QSC members John Parnass, Walt Bala, Terry Plumb, Debi Wagner and others, including several from a similar group in Des Moines known as Quiet Skies Puget Sound.
Burien City Manager Brian Wilson was also present, along with Mayor Jimmy Matta and Councilmember Nancy Tosta.
“The FAA has built a fourth runway without pouring an ounce of concrete,” Cripe said, pointing his finger upward. “And they’ve done it right over our heads.”
Residents were allowed to speak and share their concerns as well.
One of the issues discussed was the FAA’s recent Categorical Exclusion – or ‘CATEX’ – which reinstituted turns over Burien. CATEX effectively means that the FAA is “not required to follow its own rules,” which in this case means that airplanes will continue to turn west over Burien.
“The CATEX is a big ‘Eff You’ from the FAA,” resident and QSC lawyer Parnass said to applause.
Many in the audience spoke about their concerns of increased airplane noise, along with particulates and other pollution that causing increased health problems, but possibly hurting property values.
THE PORT OF SEATTLE WAS THERE (QUIETLY, IN THE BACK)
Port of Seattle Community Relations Manager Marco Milanese was the only representative from the Port/Sea-Tac Airport in attendance. He sat mostly in the back and did not speak publicly. When asked afterwards if he had a statement to make about the event or residents’ concerns, he told me: “I’m not the man to comment…”
Here’s an edited video from a live Facebook feed we produced (apologies for occasional glitches and audio issues; running time is approximately 1 hour 2 minutes):
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO DONATE:
- https://www.quietskiescoalition.net 
- https://www.facebook.com/QSCBurien/ 
- DONATE ONLINE: https://squareup.com/store/quiet-skies-coalition/