qscmeeting1pano 140 (or so) concerned citizens packed the multipurpose room of Gregory Heights Elementary School for the first Quiet Skies Coalition meeting on Tuesday night, Oct. 25.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_105324" align="aligncenter" width="490"]qscmeeting201516-2 Former pilot – and now President of Quiet Skies Coalition – Larry Cripe.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_105323" align="aligncenter" width="490"]qscmeeting102516-5 Images show the before (left) and after (right) flight patterns over Burien.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_105325" align="aligncenter" width="490"]qscmeting102516-2 Lawyer John Parness points to a map showing how many turboprop airplanes turned west over Burien on June 26, 2016.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_105326" align="aligncenter" width="490"]qscmeeting102516-4 An employee of Alaska Airlines (left) spoke at the meeting.[/caption]

Click ‘Play’ button to hear the raw, unedited audio of the meeting in its entirety (running time: 1:25):
[embed]http://jonlehman.synology.me:8666/BtownBlog/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/102516Meeting.mp3[/embed] Story by Jack Mayne Photo & Audio by Scott Schaefer In front of a packed house at Gregory Heights Elementary School Tuesday night (Oct. 25), the newly-founded citizen’s group Quiet Skies Coalition said that it will take donated money to fight the Federal Aviation Administration’s decision to route most turbojet take off noise over Burien. Terry Plumb, a member of the newly created non-profit group made up primarily of Burien residents, said it was formed after the increase in airplane noise in Burien brought about when the FAA in July ordered smaller turbo-prop commuter planes to turn over Burien instead of being widely dispersed further north over West Seattle and even Elliot Bay and Magnolia. Those smaller planes are causing most of the “new” noise over Burien, which has clearly upset numerous residents. Group to fight noise “The mission of the Quiet Skies Coalition is to restore quiet skies to the greater Burien area,” Plumb said. “This can be accomplished by the FAA ceasing the direct flights westbound from Sea-Tac Airport and restoring the flight pattern that was established previously and was altered in July of this year.” Larry Cripe, founder and president of the coalition, said he began getting phone calls about the aviation noise after he brought the problems to the Burien City Council a few weeks earlier. Then he and Burien resident, attorney John Parnass, decided to form a non-profit committee, Quiet Skies Coalition. He said that after some study, and with his background as a retired airline pilot, that the FAA has done “something that is unjust.” The coalition has asked for and received a meeting with the FAA to meet with the group at Burien City Hall on Friday, Nov. 4 “for us to express our concerns and have a dialogue on this and try to get to the bottom of this.” Dialogue with Alaska Air Cripe added that the Burien City Council has been helpful in putting the meeting together. Councilmembers Debi Wagner, Steve Armstrong and Nancy Tosta attended the meeting. “I also reached out to Alaska Airlines … and wanted to start a dialogue with them,” Cripe said, noting that Alaska Air Group, headquartered in SeaTac, is the corporate title of the company that operates Alaska Airlines, Horizon Airlines and, pending federal approval, is buying Virgin America Airline. “Make no mistake, Alaska Air Group is a big company … they make the decisions,” he said. Cripe said getting the relevant information takes a lot of digging, of filing public information requests and assembling the facts to use to dispute the added planes over west Burien. He was asked whether they were just interested in the noise issue, or would they be taking on the health issues of fuel residue dumped over the area, something that many Burien residents have long complained about. “We are concerned about the flight pattern that has be thrust upon us, but that won’t be the end of the matter,” Cripe said, adding they will be concerned about a bigger picture, involving health issues, air quality and other problems. He suggested that other communities around the airport might join in the battle by starting their own similar organizations to battle the airport noise, “fuel dumping” and such. Burien resident and attorney John Parness told the group he had never been involved in something like this until the planes started buzzing over his neighborhood one day, but he thought they’ll go away – “hope is a great deceiver.” “Then I see Larry Cripe on TV one night, up like a ‘lone wolf,’” so he joined the group. Parnass showed the audience slides that showed the former flight pattern with planes taking off and moving north of Burien and dispersing in a wide area from south Seattle up to nearly the ship canal – “the historic” route, the “baseline.” ‘Just Burien, not Medina’ But in late July, Parness said, the FAA, “in combination with whoever” decided “wouldn’t it be convenient to dump all the air traffic on our neighborhood? Wouldn’t that be great because we’re Burien, we are not Medina, we are not rich, we are just Burien. That is what happened.” Parness said they have had discussions with the FAA about this – “dealing with the FAA is like dealing with any federal bureaucracy, what are you going to get from them? You are going to get nothing. You have to be persistent, you have to dig and you have to learn.” He said the reason this was done was that Sea-Tac has “real problems having to do with the growth of air traffic” but not a problem the cities can solve, but residents must be aware of it. Parness said he is a lawyer, but he does not specialize in noise law or the like. But residents do have the right to bring a lawsuit or in other ways fight the problem. “This is not new folks,” he said. “The port authority has been sued many times for disrupting people’s peace and quiet because of air traffic.” The main goal of the group is to explain to people what is going on and to persuade people who have authority to make decision to “do the right thing and not screw with us.” “Then finally if necessary, we’re going to litigate this thing,” Parness said. “I didn’t buy a house – you didn’t buy a house …” to get bombarded with noise. “If they want to do right thing, we’re with them, if they don’t want to do the right thing, we’re against them.” Parness said the FAA believes they have the right, under federal law to send turboprop planes over neighborhoods without any consequences, because they don’t the noise from turboprops is covered by federal regulations. Turbo-props ‘not noisy’ The FAA thinks “turboprops don’t create noise, so you live in this happy bubble of regulations … they think turboprops are exempt from noise regulations – we’re looking into that,” he said. The Port has been sued many times over airplane noise, “often successfully” over noise that people had not previously been subjected to. “We don’t want to sue the Port, but they hope for best…and prepare for the worst.” Parness said the bad news was that the planes were coming over our homes, but the good news is that with all the people involved, he sees reason to believe that a change in the flight patterns over Burien can be obtained. “I tell my clients go get organized and don’t accept promises (and) raise money, raise money, raise money,” he said. Money is to pay for the costs of forming the non-profit group, pay for printing a brochure and also to hire a well-connected public relations person and maybe even an attorney. Parness said the group needs to stay together, raise money for expenses but in the end, he said he feels the people of west Burien have a good chance to prevail.]]>