Letter: Either we fight to mitigate Paine flights or we pay

Aug 09, 2017

Past editorials, Save Our Communities (SOC) alerts, interviews and letters document key issues surrounding Paine Field commercial flights. This goes back decades to the Paine Field Mediated Role Determination, the resulting rezoning and development, the lease with Boeing, changes in FAA rules and so on.

Once commercial flights are started, the FAA does not allow limitation outside safety and capacity, so the argument about this being just a few flights a day misses the point.

SOC forced the FAA to admit that direct and indirect costs of scheduled commercial service can be incorporated in rates. But, the county ceded control over rate negotiation to a relatively unknown and unproven third party – Propeller Airports Paine Field, LLC – who will not be motivated to pay all mitigation costs, traffic being just one.

Due diligence demanded that Mukilteo, SOC, Edmonds and others expend efforts to require a comprehensive study of all impacts, and mitigation, associated with starting and growing commercial flights; this effort included legal challenges.

The FAA made this a key issue when they avoided due diligence and chose to minimize the impact study. The county also skipped due diligence in rushing to sign an up-to-50-year lease with an unknown and unproven entity without ensuring taxpayer protection – the lease allows Propeller to hold most of the cards.

One of the challenges facing society today is the lack of time in our increasingly busy schedules to fully study and understand important issues facing our communities. A recent letter in the Beacon expressed the opinion that the city wasted time and money on the Paine Field issue (“City wasted time, money fighting Paine flights,” Del Leedy, Aug. 2). I disagree.

Taxpaying citizens have the right to express their opinions, and I applaud citizen engagement. But, they also have a responsibility to be fully informed.

Simple math shows that mitigation funding for traffic alone will exceed the cost of legal challenges. That money does not just show up. It takes informed engagement. It would be naïve to believe that funding would materialize without legal, political and other pressures provided by Mukilteo, SOC and informed citizens.

What is next? We will seek voluntary measures by Alaska Airlines and Propeller to minimize noise and timing of flights, and work to ensure reasonable mitigation measures are implemented and paid for.

The alternative is to disengage, give up and have citizens subsidize scheduled service with taxpayer money, decreased home values and a lower quality of life.

 

Mike Moore
Mukilteo, SOC President
Comments (1)
Posted by: Lynn McKinney | Aug 12, 2017 00:02

Noise, that seems to be the main issue talked about, is the least of my concerns.  The chemical and environmental impacts are many. people living in communities close to airports are being warned that they could be at greater risk from cancer caused by pollution from jet exhausts.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-17419/Now-living-airports-cancer.html#ixzz4pWQdPE6b
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