Resources

If you have a document or article you think would be helpful to add here or find any errors in existing links, please contact me.

History

Newcomers to this issue should start here. One of the biggest mistakes people have is not understanding the history of the airport. Every time there has been an expansion of the airport it has caused tremendous upheaval for the communities. We keep having the same fight over and over again.


Site Description
Summary of Court Of Appeals decision and opinion on Class Action by homeowners regarding increased noise after 3rd Runway.
A State Initiative to charge a carbon tax on fossil fuels. Although it exempts both commercial marine and commercial jet fuels (bad) we nevertheless support this measure. If passed, the law affords large grant opportunities to heavily impacted communities. We expect that these grants will be highly competitive. It will therefore be necessary for airport cities to apply for and lobby for such grants.
Port Of Seattle public relations. Note all the Des Moines City Council: Dave Kaplan, Matt Pina, Robert Back, Jeremy Nutting.
A great general resource for information on all the airport communities. Unfortunately, much of the press coverage of previous airport expansions has not been digitized. So this is the best (and only) place to find newspaper articles going back decades. 196390-A 28th Ave. S. SeaTac, WA 98188
Start here.
Walt Crowley's labour of love. The best single source for people wanting to learn about the ongoing battles between communities and the airport.
Port of Seattle Commission adopts Sea-Tac International Airport's Master Plan Update, including a third runway and enhanced noise criteria, on August 1, 1996.
A list of court cases you can examine re. the 3rd Runway
Article on scandal involving former mayor Don Wasson's attempt to pack the city council and move forward with the 3rd Runway
For years, the Port of Seattle has promised that construction of a massive third runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport wouldn’t hurt surrounding streams and would actually be a boon to the environment. But since October, a string of oversights, accidents and intentional actions at the airport has allowed millions of gallons of muddy, oily or antifreeze-laden water to flow into nearby streams, including one occupied by spawning salmon, the state Department of Ecology said Tuesday...
The Washington State Judicial Opinions Website provides free public access to the precedential, published appellate decisions from the Washington State Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.
Companion Senate Bill 5225 Sponsored by Des Moines Representative Tina Orwall and Federal Way Representative Mikie Pelliccioti. Directing the completion of a study of certain environmental impacts, including ultrafine particulate emissions, associated with aircraft traffic in areas impacted by airport operations.
Companion House Bill 1171 Sponsored by Des Moines Senator Karen Keiser. Directing the completion of a study of certain environmental impacts, including ultrafine particulate emissions, associated with aircraft traffic in areas impacted by airport operations.
The Wikipedia entry for Sea-Tac Airport. A lot of basic information and links to learn even more.

Web Sites

Here are some web sites to learn more:


Site Description
This group is focused on improving the air quality inside airplanes.
A magazine for air cargo shippers. Provides technical and general information. Air cargo is an ever-growing piece of Sea-Tac's operations.
Information on all aspects of commercial aviation
Aviation news and information
A web site which makes it super easy to file noise complaints about Sea-Tac Airport. Sign-up is free, but there are also paid plans which make it even easier to use and allow you to get some good reporting.
A great article describing ANCA in broad strokes.
Stack Exchange started as a mega-platform for software developers to ask questions and get answers from 'the crowd'. It has since been expanded to include all sorts of activities. The Aviation wing is a great technical resource.
Carbon footprint estimator
Offers a snapshot of how Des Moines (or any city) compares with others for Food, Housing, Crime, etc.
Listen to the KSEA (Sea-Tac) control tower.
An on-line crime reporting system using Google Maps. The default location in this link is for Des Moines, but you can enter any city or zip code to get markers for all recent activity.
The ICAO Aircraft Engine Emissions Databank contains information on exhaust emissions of production aircraft engines
The Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions and Noise (CLEEN) Program is the FAA's principal environmental effort to accelerate the development of new aircraft and engine technologies and advance sustainable alternative jet fuels. Through the CLEEN Program, the FAA is a cost-sharing partner with industry. CLEEN projects develop technologies that will reduce noise, emissions, and fuel burn and enable the aviation industry to expedite integration of these technologies into current and future aircraft. CLEEN is a key element of the NextGen strategy to achieve environmental protection that allows for sustained aviation growth.
A great video describing the route of the light rail path from Angle Lake Station in SeaTac out to Federal Way at 320th
This company makes software that is used by Sea-Tac (and many other major airports) for flight tracking and noise monitoring.
A great general resource for information on all the airport communities. Unfortunately, much of the press coverage of previous airport expansions has not been digitized. So this is the best (and only) place to find newspaper articles going back decades. 196390-A 28th Ave. S. SeaTac, WA 98188
KKR are a law firm that specializes in airport law. They have a mailing list which publishes digests of relevant cases.
Environmental consultants. They prepared all recent Part 150 Studies and the 1996 EIS. They are also contracted to perform these same documents for the upcoming SAMP.
The SAMP consultants hired by SeaTac, Des Moines, Burien and Federal Way. See SeaTac Resolution #4971 06/26/2018 for more information.
The menus show the various noise management tools and environmental studies. Since LAX is a model for many of the tools and studies done at Sea-Tac it is well worth studying.
The Municipal Research and Services Center (MRSC) is a nonprofit organization that helps local governments across Washington State better serve their citizens by providing legal and policy guidance on any topic.
These regulations govern airports noise exposure maps and noise compatibility programs from the Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990 (ANCA).
Regulations governing Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990 (ANCA)
A list of basic statistics on SeaTac Airport and links to information useful for travellers.
A list of documents that are part of the StART. This implies that in the future it will contain other types of documents.
Fill out this form to make noise complaints. You can also call the Port Of Seattle Noise Program Office. Their telephone number is (206) 787-5393.
This is actually a Landrum & Brown site which stores all the documents they created and manage as part of their consulting with the Port of Seattle.
The Port Of Seattle's main site for information on all environmental review. The public can post comments here.
This is the place to get basic information and make public comments.
A forum consisting of the Port Of Seattle, FAA, City leaders and members of the public from the airport communities. Sign up for e-mail updates on this page.
Provides air quality monitoring stations throughout the region. Oddly, they are currently not testing air quality around Sea-Tac.
The most important government entity almost no one has heard of. A group of leaders representing the city's, counties and Port Of Seattle. It is they who ultimately decide on siting or expanding the airport.
A site explaining the negative impacts of the FAA's NextGen program. It is run by Vashon Island activist David Goebel which explain
RMI engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. We employ rigorous research, analysis, and whole-systems
A forum of King County cities and the Port Of Seattle which meets to plan transportation issues. Typically meets monthly on the second Tuesday at 9AM. Next meeting is June 19th!
The section of the State of Washington's legal code concerning SEPA
This is the place to enter your comments.
A series of videos by local activist Steve Edmiston. In each video he appears before the Port Of Seattle to give public comment and educate them as to the impacts of the airport on the surrounding communities.
These regulations govern airports, the FAA and include Part 150 and Part 161--which concern noise.
A pro-growth organization of businesses that support SeaTac. They're not on our team, but they provide useful information about the marketing message of the airport.
The Mobile ObserVations of Ultrafine Particles (MOV-UP) Study is a two-year project, funded by the State of Washington, which aims to study air quality impacts of air traffic for communities located near, and below the flight paths of the SeaTac airport. The study will assess ultrafine PM concentrations within 10 miles of the airport in the directions of aircraft flight. Furthermore, the study will attempt to distinguish between aircraft and other sources of ultrafine PM, and compare levels of ultrafine PM in areas impacted by high volumes of air traffic with those that are not impacted. The research team will coordinate with local governments and solicit feedback from community members. This website will keep the public informed on the progress of the study. A Study Advisory Group made up of representatives from government agencies, cities, and community organizations will advise the study design and methods. Study progress will be presented public meetings to obtain feedback from a broader set of aircraft-related air quality stakeholders. A final report documenting the findings of the study will be prepared by December 2019. Top Study Advisory Group Various governmental agency, city, and community organization representatives were invited by the Dean of the School of Public Health to serve as members on a Study Advisory Group. The group includes representatives from the following organizations: Puget Sound Clean Air Agency US EPA Region X WA State Department of Ecology Public Health of Seattle & King County Port of Seattle FAA Northwest Mountain Region WA State Department of Health Quiet and Healthy Skies Task Force Beacon Hill CHAC WA State Department of Commerce City of Burien City of Des Moines City of SeaTac City of Tukwila City of Normandy Park Congressman Adam Smith WA State House of Representatives, Mike Pellicciotti WA State House of Representatives, Tina Orwall US House of Representatives, Pramila Jayapal The group will meet at key points during the study to: Provide feedback on study design and methods. Provide feedback on study preliminary findings. Provide feedback on draft study report.
This link provides information on how the Port Of Seattle is structured and, in 53.54, the Noise Abatement section which controls the Avigation Easements. Title 53 is chock full of interesting stuff that we believe are worth study because they explain why the Port is so powerful. But when most airport 'enthusiasts' focus about it they tend to think mainly about chapter 54. One thing it does is to empower the Port Of Seattle to force homeowners to sign Avigation Easements in order to obtain any mitigation funds. (Or to be more precise, the Port Of Seattle cannot obtain reimbursement for mitigation from the FAA unless the homeowner signs the Avigation Easement.) Another thing it does is limit mitigation to six miles from the end of the runway and one mile from the center. Extra Credit: There is also the matter of why issues concerning an airport are placed under a Port District portion of the code, when there was already a completely separate Title of the state RCW set up for Aeronautics (Title 14). Hint: Title 14 talks a lot about 'Municipal' airports.
Puget Sound SR509 Gateway connecting the airport, 509, I-5, 167

Articles

Individual articles from various web sites and news outlets.


Site Description Date
Summary of Court Of Appeals decision and opinion on Class Action by homeowners regarding increased noise after 3rd Runway.2014-10-27
In less than three months, all International Civil Aviation Organization Council member states with aircraft operators undertaking international flights are … 2018-10-18
A glimpse of the new freighters and a chat about the ramifications of Alaska’s new capacity with Jason Berry, Alaska Air’s managing director of cargo.2018-07-11
The Air Cargo World team was treated this week to a behind-the-scenes tour of the cargo operations at Seattle-Tacoma International … 2018-10-19
Alaska Airlines has started accepting bookings for passenger flights from Paine Field in Everett, bringing Snohomish County closer to realizing … 2018-11-15
2018-09-13
A State Initiative to charge a carbon tax on fossil fuels. Although it exempts both commercial marine and commercial jet … 2018-11-06
2018-11-05
02/06/182018-02-06
2018-10-20
Port Of Seattle public relations. Note all the Des Moines City Council: Dave Kaplan, Matt Pina, Robert Back, Jeremy Nutting.2014-08-14
Describes the effects of NextGen and Greener Skies on the Beacon Hill neighborhood. Most of this applies to the Sea-Tac communities.2013-03-13
This article discusses sources of cost per enplaned passenger (CPE), calculation of CPE, uses of CPE in airport finance, and … 2015-03-15
If all goes as planned, three carriers will begin serving Everett with 24 daily flights.2018-09-29
The Airport Environmental Programs help airports implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other Federal environmental laws and regulations. … 2018-10-25
2018-09-13
2018-09-13
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) uses runway slots to limit scheduled air traffic at certain capacity constrained airports. In the … 2018-09-13
2018-07-17
Airplanes go by Bill Brough’s Marine Hills home about every 90 seconds, he says. Home values down.2015-08-31
Exclusive: Simple act of breathing is killing 7 million people a year and harming billions more, but ‘a smog of … 2018-10-27
Senate bill does not include noise mandates2018-08-09
The Worldwide Slot Guidelines (WSG) are the foundation upon which the global slot allocation process works for the benefit of … 2018-09-13
Excellent overview of this event, with lots of details on every aspect of the event.2018-08-19
06/26/18 The Port determined that building up four more floors on top of the current C gate terminal would be the most cost-effective measure. 2018-06-26
2018-08-27
The Port Of Seattle has consistently done a far better job with environmental mitigation at the Port than at the airport. This article discusses mitigations.2018-06-13
2018-01-29
2016-01-29
Any air carrier of commuter operator having the authority to conduct international operations shall be provided slots for those operations, … 2018-09-13
The attorney general of Maryland announced Tuesday that Kaplan Kirsch and Rockwell has been chosen to pursue action against the … 2017-10-31
This is a rather technical article. However it’s well worth reading as it provides an explanation as to why the … 2018-09-13
Changes to FAA Re-authorization that affect Sea=Tac. One concerns Drones. The others concern us in terms of noise and pollution.2018-10-05
A lawsuit known as Juliana v. United States was brought by the nonprofit group Our Children’s Trust, and the plaintiffs … 2018-11-12
LAX is one of the most studied airports in the world.2014-05-29
2014-06-10
Perry Cooper interviews Rob Allen, Executive VP of Landrum & Brown, the consultants hired to prepare the Environmental Impact Statement … 2018-09-11
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 20, 2018 Contact: Rick Olson, 206.971.3050, rolson@psrc.org Puget Sound Regional Council to lead Regional Aviation Baseline … 2018-09-20
An interview with Dave Kaplan. The new Business Park is discussed along with the desire for good partnerships with the … 2018-09-19
04/25/20172018-04-25
This is the Expert Arbitration Panel’s Final Order on Demand/System Management Issues, In our July 27, 1995 Order, we determined that congestion pricing, gate controls and “high speed” rail are not “feasible”...2018-08-23
A Candid Survey of Local Government Officials and Agency Leaders. Shows why Sea-Tac activists -must- be more vocal in order to be heard.2018-08-27
2015-05-01
We’ve already been at work this spring and summer updating taxiways, replacing concrete panels, and other projects to improve safety … 2018-09-13
2008-12-11
Article on scandal involving former mayor Don Wasson’s attempt to pack the city council and move forward with the 3rd … 2018-09-23
A booming economy has Sea-Tac Airport trying to keep up and some neighbors are worrying about the impact.2018-09-01
Sea-Tac Airport traffic is growing rapidly and set to expand further as the region’s economy booms. But in cities from … 2018-10-25
The Port of Seattle’s chief executive, Tay Yoshitani, should not be allowed to keep that job while also serving as … 2012-09-20
The new technology steers air traffic on autopilot along a smoothly descending, satellite-guided path, avoiding the stair-step approach and constant … 2009-08-30
For years, the Port of Seattle has promised that construction of a massive third runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport wouldn’t … 2006-01-12
The Port of Seattle wants a tax increase to help fund a new cruise-ship terminal, but it’s not saying where … 2018-11-25
James Fallows is an avid private pilot and knows airports well. This article provides a very reasonable takeaway of the event and lots of good links to learn all the details.2018-08-12
a Closer Look at the Sea-Tac Airport International Arrivals Facility2018-07-31
An op/ed by a worker at the airport. Their conditions are terrible. As employees of subcontractors to the airlines, they don't even make the $15/hour other airport workers get.2018-08-17
A technical article describing the kinds of alloys found in jet engines. These alloys are sloughed off by the engines … 2018-09-13
…the fourth inspector general’s critique in as many years of a program known as NextGen, on which more than $7 … 2018-03-05
The 1,200-page measure sets standards for the agency, airports and airlines.2018-10-05
Waterland Blog - Adam Smith's new bill on FAA noise mitigation 06/20/182018-06-20
Parts of North Highline, Burien, and most of SeaTac have been declared Opportunity Zones by Governor Jay Inslee. Opportunity Zones allow investments made through special funds to defer or eliminate federal taxes on capital gains.2018-04-24
Neighbors of Sea-Tac Airport feel powerless over airport's sweeping expansion plans2018-06-01
SAMP has roused concerns about pollution and noise increases2018-06-01
Coverage of the June StART Meeting2018-06-28
A good article from 2005 on the rapidly changing feel of this area by Knute Berger. Not an airport article per se, but interesting and prescient.2018-08-27
2018-09-13

Documents

Some important documents. Click on any heading to sort by column:


Document Description Date
2018-10-29
2018-11-13
2018-11-13
2018-11-21
This is a great thumbnail history of the airport's evolving relationship with the Port Of Seattle. Use it to help you learn about previous citizen groups who have successfully (and unsuccessfully) opposed the Port's almost constant expansions. Provided courtesy of the Highline Historical Society. 2017-05-12
Washington Transportation Committee2017-09-01
National Weather Service Office1970-10-01
2018-07-31
An outline of the cargo meeting held at Port Of Seattle2016-11-06
This is the binding legal document that home owners within the mandated distance of the airport (DNL 65) had to sign in order to receive mitigation benefits (typically insulation and triple-pane windows.) In exchange, the owner gave free use of the sky above the property to the FAA and airlines not only for themselves but also for all future owners. You could not receive any mitigation benefits without giving up your rights in perpetuity (forever).2017-10-16
Bearse v. Port Of Seattle2018-06-28
Robert Stoker, Ph.D. Boeing Commercial Airplanes Senior Manager – Noise, Vibration and Emissions2018-10-24
2018-07-31
2018-07-31
2018-07-31
2018-06-28
The Mayor discusses the state of the City (good, because the City's finances are good--I live the psychology of that to you, Dear Reader) and then the City's letter to the Port's Sustainable Airport Master Plan (SAMP) official Steve Rybolt outlining the obvious concerns about growth, noise, pollution, etc., etc. It is followed by comments from members of the Aviation Advisory Commmittee (no longer referred to as 'Ad Hoc'--further suggesting that there may indeed be a God in Heaven.) The main heartening comment, which has become a key talking point for the City over the past six months or so, has been the notion of demanding that any environmental remediation should be taken back to 2012--when the big increases in flights began (and also coinciding with the SAMP planning.) I (JCH) harken back with great fondness to the times I've been referred to as 'crazy' (and other choice names) for suggesting as much, so this change of heart is especially warming for me. We all hope that the City keeps pushing hard on this point. There is almost no point in obtaining any remediation deal -unless- it rolls the yard sticks back at least as far as 2012.2018-11-30
Des Moines letter to Erika Harris (SEPA responsible official for PSRC) on Sea-Tac Vision 2050 Scoping 3.19.182018-03-19
1973-06-28
Explains the basics of NextGen and Greener Skies. Presented by David Suomi and Steve Karnes, Senior Technical Advisor, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center2018-04-25
A presentation explaining terms, techniques, and programs associated with traffic flow management in the National Airspace System.2009-10-01
Provides the (FAA) policies and procedures to ensure agency compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 United States Code [U.S.C.] §§ 4321-4335), the requirements set forth in the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), parts 1500-1508, Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (CEQ Regulations), and Department of Transportation (DOT) Order 5610.1C, Procedures for Co nsidering Environmental Impacts. The CEQ Regulations establish procedures for complying with NEPA. In accordance with 40 CFR § 1507.3 of the CEQ Regulations, this Order contains the FAA’s implementing procedures...2018-07-16
Record of Decision (ROD) providing final Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval for the Master Plan Update development actions adopted by the Port of Seattle (POS) on August 1, 1996, in POS Commission Resolution # 3212, as amended on May 27, 1997, in POS Commission Resolution No. 3245. 2018-06-22
2017-06-02
1995-01-28
2018-06-18
Notes from his presentation.2018-06-18
Explains how to use and interpret the spreadsheet data here.2018-06-22
Kaplan Kirsch Law semi-annual report on airport legal issues.2018-07-01
A given by David Goebel for (norpn.org)2017-11-05
2018-07-31
Part 150 Study 2018 predicted noise boundary2013-10-23
Part 150 Study 2013 Appendix G - 2021 predicted noise boundary.2018-07-31
Part 150 Study 2013 (Landrum and Brown) Chapter 3 pg. 109. Depicts 2013 noise boundary.2018-07-31
From the Part 150 Study (2013) by Landrum & Brown2018-07-31
Presentation. Note theNEM (noise boundary) is predicted to -shrink-.2016-10-11
Aviation Division 2019 Business Plan and Budget Preview. Presented at Port Of Seattle Commission Meeting June 26, 20182009-10-01
Notes from Burien SAMP meeting. The public Q&A are definitely not accurate!2018-06-20
Subtitled: Strategy for a sustainable Sea-Tac2018-06-18
2018-06-22
Update to Master Plan passed before 3rd Runway.2018-06-21
Port Of Seattle - Resolution to implement noise mitigation before building 3rd Runway2018-06-21
2018-05-02
2018-11-13
2018-11-13
2018-11-13
2018-11-13
We really need to do a deep dive on this because this is one the most confusing aspects of how the Port Of Seattle is structured. Technically, the Port is a 'public corporation', akin to a utility. However, it is quite different from other utilities in that it has a taxing authority. The Port does not use any of these taxes to pay for airport operations. In fact, they are prevented from doing so by FAA law, which specifies that all commercial airports must be 100% funded from operations. It starts to get confusing fast because the Port can (and does) use some of these taxes to pay for mitigations (noise insulation, windows). This creates the urban myth that the Port uses your taxes to pay for airport operations. Not true. In recent years, the airport has used the lion's share of these taxes for one thing: to pay down its bond debt. We object to this because the Port Of Seattle has been running in the black (they are not allowed to be called 'profitable') for many years and we believe it to be unfair to take public tax money simply to pay down debt when not absolutely necessary. 2018-11-13
2018-10-29
2018-10-29
2018-10-29
2018-10-29
2018-10-29
2018-10-29
2018-10-29
2018-10-29
2018-10-29
2018-10-29
2018-10-29
2018-10-29
Presentation of 'Century Agenda' which is the broad outline of goals. These include tripling air cargo volume.2018-04-26
SEPA Policies for the SAMP. Includes materials on the process and how to file an appeal.2018-09-28
Puget Sound Clean Air, Highline Forum September 27, 2017, Kathy Strange, Manager, Technical Analysis2017-09-27
1995-01-09
1995-10-16
General Chronology: Regional Commercial Airport Capacity Decisions in the Central Puget Sound Region2018-06-22
Votes from members of the PSRC are weighted according to this formula. This matters to airport communities because it gives so much more power to entities that have no interest in having another airport.2018-05-31
2018-06-18
2018-06-18
2018-07-31
2018-08-24
Official comments from the cities of Burien, Des Moines, SeaTac and Normandy Park2018-09-28
10/15/18 Per the Director of Aviation Finance and Budget: I am attaching the budget for Phase 1 of SAMP, and the analysis of the potential impacts modeled under three scenarios presented to the commission at a work session on May 7, 2018. The commission presentation shows the potential CPE impacts for each of the three scenarios. No airline pays a “CPE.” The CPE is an overall measure of the total passenger airline revenues divided by enplaned passengers. No attempt has been made to model what individual airlines may pay in the future. For this analysis, issuing revenue bonds was the variable to close the funding gap. Total debt (existing plus new) is shown for each scenario. These are just modeling scenarios at this point. The SAMP projects have not yet been added to the Aviation Division capital plan and plan of finance. 2018-05-07
May 4 New Terminal briefing for local businesses2018-06-02
Purpose: the evaluation of ground level impacts on the ambient air of the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac)1995-05-01
Sea-Tac Airport Economic Impacts 20182018-06-18
The 1996 Environmental Impact Statement prepared by Landrum & Brown1996-02-01
The 1996 Environmental Impact Statement prepared by Landrum & Brown.1996-02-01
The 1996 Environmental Impact Statement prepared by Landrum & Brown.1996-02-01
The 1996 Environmental Impact Statement prepared by Landrum & Brown.1996-02-01
The 1996 Environmental Impact Statement prepared by Landrum & Brown.1996-02-01
The 1996 Environmental Impact Statement prepared by Landrum & Brown.1996-02-01
The 1996 Environmental Impact Statement prepared by Landrum & Brown.1996-02-01
2018-06-18
2018-06-18
This is the study done by the plaintiffs in the 3rd Runway Lawsuit. Everyone interested in this issue should start here by reading the executive summary.2018-02-06
Source is City of Seatac What about noise? 2017-06-25
The Sea - Tac Stakeholder Advisory Round Table (StART) meeting took place on October 24 , 2018 with a focus on reviewing and discussing the Aviation Noise Working Group ’s progress as well as develop ing an understanding of forthcoming fleet changes and their impact on aviation noise. This voluntary, advisory roundtable, convened by Seattle - Tacoma International Airport Managing Director, Lance Lyttle, is a venue for t he Port of Seattle to engage with the communities of SeaTac, Burien, Des Moines, Norman d y Park, Tukwila and Federal Way. Representatives from Delta Air Lines, Alaska Airlines, and Lynden Transport are also members . The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) participates as a non - member.2018-10-24
Aircraft Emissions study by GeoMode (Take Off, Landing, Taxiing)1995-06-28
D.C. CIRCUIT REJECTS CHALLENGES TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA METROPLEX On November 30, the D.C. Circuit issued an unpublished memorandum decision denying four Petitions for Review challenging the FAA’s implementation of NextGen arrival, departure, and en route procedures in Southern California, known collectively as the SoCal Metroplex. The case involved claims by Culver City, the Santa Monica Canyon Civic Association, and two individuals focusing on whether the FAA adequately addressed environmental impacts relating to noise, air quality, and climate change. In a short, non-precedential decision, the D.C. Circuit rejected all of Petitioners’ arguments with only a brief discussion of each point. In summary, here are the Court’s principal holdings:

Noise Impacts under Vision 100

Petitioners argued that the FAA failed to meet its obligation under Section 709(c)(1) of the Vision 100 Act, to “take into consideration, to the greatest extent practicable, design of airport approach and departure flight paths to reduce exposure to noise and emissions pollution…” The Court rejected that argument by pointing to evidence in the record that the FAA had made changes to the Metroplex procedures in order to address noise and emissions concerns while still providing airspace efficiency and safety enhancements as called for in the Vision 100 Act. Air Quality Conformity. Petitioners argued that the FAA had failed to comply with the Clean Air Act’s conformity requirements by concluding that the SoCal Metroplex could be presumed to conform to the Clean Air Act State Implementation Plan. Petitioners asserted that because most of the changes would occur below the 3,000-foot “mixing height” and would increase fuel burn, the FAA could not presume that the procedures would have only a de minimus effect. The Court rejected those arguments finding that, in fact, most of the changes would occur above 3,000 feet and that the FAA was justified in finding the changes below 3,000 feet were de minimus based on the multi-factor balancing test the FAA was authorized to use in connection with NextGen projects. Climate Change/Greenhouse Gases. Petitioners argued that the FAA had failed to adequately consider how the SoCal Metroplex would affect global warming because the FAA claimed that the project would increase greenhouse gas emissions by only a small amount. Petitioners argued that Council on Environmental Quality guidance did not permit dismissing climate change impacts based only on a comparison to global emissions. The Court found, however, that the project greenhouse gas emissions were so small they fell below the CEQ’s threshold for conducting further analysis. Unlike in the Phoenix case, in which the FAA relied on a Categorical Exclusion for its environmental analysis of NextGen procedures, the FAA prepared an Environmental Analysis and Finding of No Significant Impact before implementing the SoCal Metroplex. On that record, the Court was willing to give the FAA considerable deference, with respect to both the FAA’s balancing of interests in designing the new air traffic control procedures and in the FAA’s construction of its own orders and guidance. This decision underscores how difficult it is to challenge FAA decisions regarding air traffic control and safety. For more information about the litigation, please contact John Putnam at jputnam@kaplankirsch.com
2018-11-30
2018-07-31