Port of Seattle releases letter regarding Flight Corridor Safety Program

The Port of Seattle on Friday (Nov. 18) released a letter to the community, regarding its proposed Flight Corridor Safety Program, which is intended to remove thousands of trees at and around Sea-Tac Airport.

Overall, the program has identified approximately 2,800 trees to be removed in three phases based on location:

  • 1,200 trees on Port property
  • 1,400 on publicly owned or commercial properties (about 1,200 on Washington State Department of Transportation property, many on land set aside for future Hwy 509 expansion)
  • An estimated 180 trees on residential properties. Trees on residential properties will not be affected until 2018. Each resident will be contacted and offered a number of alternatives to choose from to best meet their needs.

Read our previous coverage of this issue here.

Here’s the Port’s letter:

Dear Airport Neighbors:

Thank you for participating in the Port of Seattle’s Flight Corridor Safety Program Open House and Community Meeting on November 1 at Bow Lake Elementary School. We believe that it was important for the Commission to hear directly from the public on the Port’s program to address over-height trees in the Sea-Tac Airport flight corridor and replant with native, lower-height trees.

Based on the comments the other Commissioners and I received at the meeting, we asked staff to study options to modify the first phase of the program, limited to Port-owned parcels near the airfield, for consideration at the November 22 Commission meeting.  At that meeting we also will discuss a proposed community ecology fund to support tree planting and other ecological projects within the airport cities.  We would welcome your attendance and comments on November 22.  This meeting is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. in the Central Auditorium at Sea-Tac Airport and can be watched live on the web. Validation for parking will be available.

Work on later phases of the program, including commercial, public, residential and additional Port parcels, will occur after further community involvement, including environmental review.  This later work will not begin until the second half of 2017 at the earliest, and expect to hear more from us with the dates of opportunities for further public feedback.

A report that captures all the public comments from the November 1 meeting, both spoken and written, is available on the Port’s website.  We also posted all the materials from the meeting, including the presentations and poster-boards.

Thank you again for your active interest in the Port’s program to ensure safe aircraft takeoffs and landings, and in ways the program can be crafted to be responsive to the concerns, suggestions and expectations expressed by you and your fellow community members.

We will be in touch soon to announce the next steps in the public process.  And to keep up-to-date about the Port of Seattle and Port-wide activities, please sign-up to receive Connections, the Port’s twice-monthly email newsletter.

John Creighton
President, Port of Seattle Commission

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