One of the most difficult aspects of explaining the airport to outsiders is the constant stream of positive spinning going on throughout the area. This spinning occurs on many levels and despite my using the verb ‘spin’ most of it is actually a sincere attempt to help the community. The problem is that the area is hurting so much from the airport that these small efforts tend only to hide that fact rather than to actually help the community in any real way. Most of us, whether we realize it or not are engaged in a campaign of mass distraction which helps deflect any attention from the massive problems the airport causes.
See? That didn’t make any sense, right? OK, some examples. First of all, the Port of Seattle gives out a variety of grants to the airport communities for various purposes. Some are for economic development. Some are to improve the environment. Some are to mitigate the environmental impacts of the airport. They get a lot of PR mileage from these grants. The Commissioners always get their picture in a local paper when these grants are given out. Unfortunately, this is the only time any airport community city leader will likely get any coverage in a newspaper, so it appears that the city and the Port are happy partners.
Another problem is that the Port is con