A Letter To Larry Cripe & LOQSV

Dear Mr. Cripe,

Following up on tonight’s Burien Airport Committee meeting, I am asking that the League Of Quiet Skies Voters (LOQSV) can reach out to fellow groups across the United States and gather information on noise mitigation programs in their cities. Again, the idea being to develop some comparative data, even if it is only anecdotal on how each airport operator handles their programs.

As I said, my colleague Paula likens the commercial aviation business like the healthcare business in that it’s very difficult to get comparative data so consumers cannot tell which hospitals are ‘better’. We in Seattle tend to think we are ‘progressive’ and therefore doing a pretty good job in most areas and I know the Port Commissioners just assume that is the case when it comes to noise mitigation. But how do we present them with evidence.

I’m going to suggest one starting point: The Port Of Seattle Homeowners Handbook. Here is a link to a sample from the 1990’s. We’d like to get copies of similar handbooks from homeowners near major airports all over the country. Can you help us get that? I think it would be very interesting to compare such handbooks from the twenty largest airports.

I’d also like to know about the materials used. We know that the Port did not use great materials in the beginning. (they have since improved quite a bit.) We want to know about warranties. How long were the warranties? We want to know about complaints. Did any airports have any system of compensation or replacement? How often did each airport do Part 150 studies? How often did homeowners have to wait to get their homes evaluated?

And perhaps your colleagues can come up with other (even better) suggestions?

I recognize that this might seem like a lot. I hope I’m not asking too much. However the Port has a great power over us from a legal standpoint. But they also have a great power over us because they know things about the aviation world we do not. If we had better information on how residents were being treated at other airports (something which should not be too hard to find out in 2019 if we all work together) I think this could have a great impact on how they treat us. I believe they cannot tolerate being found out as treating us poorly relative to other airports. I base that belief on their own marketing materials where they are constantly touting how much better they are doing than other airports in so many ways. They are exceedingly proud and will not stand being properly shamed with information clearly showing how poorly they perform when compared with their peers.

Please let me know how I can assist you in this effort. I know you’ve got a zillion things going on and appreciate your efforts greatly.



PS: It was your original photocopy of that article from ALPA magazine that gave me the idea to start researching and comparing AIP grants between major airports. Like everyone else, until that moment I just assumed that Sea-Tac was performing about as well as every other airport. In fact, I just assumed that all airports doled out noise mitigation at about the same rates. It’s a funny thing how one stumbles across interesting ideas.

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