By Jack Mayne A citizens group called the Quiet Skies Coalition has been formed to fight increased airline noise in Burien instigated by the Federal Aviation Administration at Sea-Tac Airport. The Coalition released a newsletter today (Oct. 3) that said was to “notify you that a citizen committee has been formed to oppose the drastic increase in westbound departures from SeaTac Airport due to changes the FAA has enacted that affect the greater Burien area.” The new group has been legally incorporated as the Quiet Skies Coalition as a not-for-profit corporation under Washington state law. The Quiet Skies Coalition is asking residents to “become a part of this opposition” to the increase in prop-jet aircraft turning west over Burien whenever flights take off to the north. That direction is required by the FAA flight controllers whenever with wind comes from the north. Initially the Quiet Skies Coalition will “be directing our activities toward the Port of Seattle, Alaska Airlines (and the) Federal Aviation Administration.” Fundraising The group ways they are beginning “currently fundraising, doing research and forming a preliminary plan and strategy. We will be sharing this with you and seeking your help and opinions in the near future. The Coalition said it is planning a public meeting to “share input and ideas as well as how you can be a part of this effort.” The opposition group included in its news release maps that were generated by the Port of Seattle and “illustrate the change in the number and direction of takeoffs over the greater Burien area. As you can see, things have changed dramatically.” These maps illustrate the direction and number of flights prior to last July and illustrates “the direction and number of flights starting in July and illustrates “our city is now exposed to a major increase in noise from over flights – far in excess of the historic norm for our area.” [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="490"] BEFORE: Flight pattern from Aug. 26, 2015. Click image to view larger version.[/caption] [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="490"] NOW: Flight pattern for Aug. 24, 2016. Click image to view larger version.[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="225"] Larry Cripe[/caption] The group is headed by retired Alaska Airlines Group pilot Larry Cripe and is seeking “legal options, raising funds necessary to support the community effort, launching our advocacy website and a host of other activities.” They are soliciting local citizen to join with them and “volunteer your time to raise awareness about the issue, contribute funds, attend public meetings, and engage in letter writing campaigns and so forth.” Contact can be made with Cripe as Quiet Skies president or member John Parnass. They may be contacted by emailing or They promise a website soon to update the contact information (stay tuned to The B-Town Blog for news when this happens). ‘The Port, Alaska Airlines and the FAA have underestimated our resolve to stop this blatant disregard for us as residents, taxpayers and property owners,” the news release said. “By joining together in this battle, we stand a chance to reverse the decision that has been imposed upon us. “We are asking each and every one of you to spread the word by whatever methods you can. We need thousands of email addresses in the next sixty days, which is only possible with your help.” With a list of residents willing to assist them, “We will then be able to communicate and keep everyone informed as to what we are doing as an organization. “Unfortunately, none of this is going to be achievable without raising funds.”]]>

Senior Reporter Jack Mayne passed away in December, 2021. In his honor we have created the Jack Mayne Journalism Scholarship.

31 replies on “Burien residents form 'Quiet Skies Coalition' to fight increased airplane noise”

    1. There is a lot of noise directly north and south of the runways. But property owners were able to weigh the pros and cons then determine whether that tradeoff is acceptable in exchange for the cost savings that come with purchasing or renting property in the flight path.
      This new westward flight path was suddenly created this year without warning. This action may be costing affected families tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost property value. Should the FAA compensate for financial damage? What if instead of the FAA hurting property values it was an oil company spill that lowered property values? Perhaps property owners would want to be compensated.

  1. I live 1 mile south of the airport under the flight path of the third runway. When the port started to use it we tried to get a class action lawsuit with all the homes affected. The class action was denied in court and suing the port as an individual is a waste of time and money. I wish you luck, I truly do. I just think it will not be successful.

    1. I agree. This likely will not be successful, because economic growth usually trumps everything. They are not going to care about a few complaining residents. Even the environmental awareness of the Seattleites is not going to help.
      What might help is put the focus on the rise of a second major airport in the area, like the partial civilization of McChord Afb.

  2. Gosh, it didn’t seem to be a problem when it was happening to the relatively poorer residents of White Center! But now that it’s happening to people with money, the kinds of people that could raise funds for a dog park, which is a park that is just for dogs, but whose solution for poor in the downtown area was to have the cops move them on, now noise is a problem! Won’t somebody please think about the poor real estate values? How are we going to invite rich Seattlites to come and gentrify Sunnydale now?

    1. OW23 – Some of us have been on our property when ‘the airport’ was a landing strip with coyotes still running crossed it. (I can see your smirk, but it’s true. Look it up in the airport history.) Fast food drive-ins had not yet hit the country, let alone our neck of the woods. Old 99 was New Route 99 and was just starting to connect some of us with one another while leaving other sweet little dells lying in it’s dust, never to recover. Lots of farm land in the Kent valley was yet to be covered with asphalt and pavement, and Sunnydale Elementary School still had teachers that would whack your hands with a ruler if you disobeyed and threaten to wash your mouth out with soap if you used ‘bad words’. If you have to proclaim that we are about to become gentrified, you might at least call it re-gentrified. Will we get to have horses again?

    2. I’ve had people say to me, “You moved into Burien, knowing about the airport. It’s your own fault. Stop whining.” But the truth of the matter is, when we moved, it was with the knowledge that the Port had promised never to build a third runway at Sea-Tac. That was one of the advantages of Burien; knowing that the noise would only lessen with engine quieting technology. A new regional airport was needed, obviously elsewhere.
      So this is not about money or social class; it’s about broken promises. We’ve already seen what happens when government is not held accountable; let’s work together to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

  3. From someone who lives west of the airport, keep on complainin! Nothing changes unless people speak up. Unlike in the 90s and part of the 2000s, we do have some pretty good people on the Port commission. Hopefully they can help.Other neighborhoods are also very concerned about noise from Seatac: there are activists in Federal Way, several neighborhoods of Seattle, Medina and Mercer Island who will all be interested in fighting the noise.

      1. I’m all for re-organizing the people effected by the POS and FAA. I was a member of C.A.S.E.(Citizens Against SeaTac Expansion), years ago. We had many very dedicated and active members (many have since passed) from all of the surrounding cities effected by airplane noise — most of their council members were on board with the lawsuits filed against the POS for damages to our communities. We had monthly meetings for years and office space donated by the city of Normandy Park with a hired organizer. Ironically, SeaTac, (the most influential city council that we really needed in the fight) was on the side of the port. This link gives you an idea of the history and timeline of the 3rd runway opposition and what forces we were battling.

  4. Guess it’s time for me to buy more earplugs – or sell out and move to Westport. I’ve lived in this house for over 20 years and up ’til now I only had to put up with the noise one week a year when they changed the flight patterns to accommodate the Blue Angels at Seafair. No amount of protesting will make a blind bit of difference. What this region needs is a second major airport to spread out the traffic – but that’s been proposed a few times over the years and nothing came of it.

  5. The noise near Des Moines on north hill has increased significantly as well- much louder now!! Can we join?

    1. Be careful, friend. Speak reason to a bunch of retired real estate owners itching for gentrification and you’ll get your comment hidden.

      1. Hah! That’s funny, kilgabeast and odubya23! Retired real estate owners! Problem is, most of us who have to bear the noise and vibration are the lower middle class robbing Peter to pay Paul every single paycheck – and by single, I mean one income for two, ‘coz the other’s been laid off. We got NO money, NO pull and NO patience for the ones who don’t mind pooping on the poor people of Burien who have NO say in the flight plans or paths . . . And, if that’s the way it is North of SeaTac, then boo-hoo for you, too!

          1. Why does taking action to stop governmental intrusion into our lives suddenly turn into a rant about ‘poor people’ and what they need? The two conversations are distinctly different and there is room to hold them both, but don’t conflate one with the other. Of course, we who own homes and have made this community what it is do NOT want to loose our peace or our investments. What’s wrong with that? Not a damn thing and it has nothing to do with poor people.

          2. But see, it kind of does. The entire region sees the entire south end of KC as a place they can at best ignore or at worst use as the place to shove problems they don’t want to have, see, deal with or pay for in Magnolia, Ballard, Fremont, Clyde Hill, DT Seattle, wherever. And their attitudes about lower-income people and communities are why. We don’t have as much political power because we don’t have the wealth that commands attention. Whether airport noise and pollution or something else, it is very much about standing up for the rights of lower income people to have decent neighborhoods and schools and air and w

          3. Ugh. Smartphone freeze. “…and water, just like residents of other higher income communities.” if there are groups from Magnolia and Medina forming to fight this thing as another posted reported, I’m pretty sure they won’t be too concerned about how anything affects Burien or White Center or Des Moines or Normandy Park or Boulevard Park or Kent. On this airport thing or any issue.

          4. Seattle and King County (and to a limited degree so far, recently, Burien), are spending their time, resources, effort and our money on their touchey-feely minority social issues so the real things like commuting, lower taxes, education, airport management, noise control, basic crime and justice issues go begging…and of course the list goes on…
            Priorities remain on personal and lobbiest financed issues largely….finding an independent thinking and public minded politician is like looking for salmon in a storm water drain…thankfully we still have a few here….very few….

  6. Yes. Just send those flights back over South Park, Georgetown, and Beacon Hill in Seattle. Lower income communities need jet noise, not affluent once with money and resources.

  7. The truth is, that when the noise overhead becomes obvious and not only annoying but life changing, it lowers property value. I think this is the drum that needs to be banged the loudest by this group. When we talk about a fee added to new residential construction to support school growth, it needs to be pointed out that no schools can now be built in this area. How many months are we away from being told that our trees will have to be cut down and our eagles, hawks, ducks and geese need to be discouraged from the new flight path? This situation also needs to be taken to King County Property Assessment Officials, as well. We need to lay the ground work for law suits with the port/FAA for devaluation of our property value.

  8. As a new resident to Burien a year ago I am both grateful and in full support of this effort to keep the recent change in flight path activity from impacting more of the puget sound than it did in recent history.
    We have a young family and hope to preserve the peace that Burien afforded us when we were priced out of more northernly neighborhoods. Burien offers young families like ours the ability to become homeowners and part of a community in a very expensive real estate market. I fear that spreading the air traffic noise to more of Burien will hurt us all as less young families will consider Burien as a result.
    Judging by some if the comnents, I know some of the residents that have historically lived in the existing flight path may see this effort as elitist belly-aching, but I hope those same folks can appreciate this affects all of us as these negative externalities impact more property values, which impacts tax revenue and ultimately reduces the resources we have to improve our community for the future.
    For my own understanding, I’m curious why those opposed to this effort are. Can anyone that posted in opposition of this explain why they aren’t for the effort and how it impacts them?
    Kyle M

    1. I am one who has lived in this community for years and am irritated about the noise increase, thanks for making your opinion clear, i hope that people make the right choices.

  9. I’m in. We retired here in August and since we’ve been here, the aircraft noise has been non-stop. Our friends in West Seattle told us it was just the Blue Angels, but clearly it’s more than that. We considered a number of homes near Seattle when we bought our home back in 2012. One of the reasons we purchased in Burien was to escape the airplane noise. Now it seems we’re going to have to live with it forever. This isn’t what I bargained for.

    1. Burien has been a low noise community, but that has changed. I have to admit this is not the desired living location anymore. Thanks for stating your opinion, Bruce.

  10. I myself have noticed the increase in airplane noise am am getting irritated. According to the flight path map shown above there is a flight path directly above my house, I can look up and see the details of the bottom of both sides of the plane, there has never been a flight over house before. My house was built in the 40’s and has been in the hands of my family now for about 72 years now, my great grand father, my grand father, and now me. I have no desire to live beneath a plane that flies as low as 2000 feet over my head. I love to watch the planes come and go from the airport, especially the old ones, now I am starting to hate the view. Now the shadow falls directly on my house many dimes during the middle of the day. I also do not want them to add another runway and increase the airplane traffic even more, fight with me please, and stop the airplane noise. lets have a big city meeting and fix this mess.

  11. someone should get a room at the Burien community center to hold a meeting against this increase, It is on my nerves

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