LETTER: Additional facts should be considered

Regarding the article “Islander takes on plane noise, hoping for quieter skies” (Aug. 22), three important considerations should be added:

There is no mention of a noise cone, a measure of the noise impact from an airplane at any given altitude. Over Vashon, the noise cone would have a very broad footprint, and any variation in the flight path to the east or west would have a significant overlap, making the difference in noise negligible. Thus, a change in flight path would need to be extreme in order to be discernible and would be unrealistic for Sea-Tac approaches.

The FAA, which regulates air traffic and responds to noise complaints, has the final authority on the location of flight paths. Compared to the noise impact on residents of Burien, Seatac and Normandy Park, the noise impact over Vashon would be an extremely low priority for any mitigative measure. It would take a very sizable, and unlikely, local uproar to have an impact with the FAA.

Mr. Goebels is quoted as saying that he moved to Vashon for its peace and tranquility. His concern raises an ethical issue: Since the FAA is committed to a precision flight path, in whose neighborhood is he willing to export the precision flight path of concern in order to enjoy his peace and tranquility?

—Ken Pritchard

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