Des Moines City Council objects to new airport passenger holding structure


By Jack Mayne

Des Moines city government is questioning a large new traveler holding room at the south end of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport because city residents are constantly challenged by noise and health impacts.

The Port of Seattle had said the facility was a not a significant structure, but the city objects and wants more discussion.

Airport Committee
During comments at the opening of the Des Moines City Council meeting Thursday (June 22), Mayor Matt Pina reminded residents the city is now taking applications for its new airport advisory committee.

That newly established group is intended to guide the city as Sea-Tac Airport moves forward with massive expansion plans and increases of passenger and freight air traffic.

The questions were about the impact on the city of a proposed 25,000 square foot international traveler holding room at the south end of the airport.

Newly hired development director Susan Cezar (pictured, left) told the Council she wrote the Port a letter saying the city felt there are problems with the Port’s determination that the proposed new concourse D holding room is of “non-significance.”

Cezar’s letter said:

“Des Moines experiences disproportionate impacts from aircraft operations because of our proximity to Sea-Tac International Airport, and Des Moines residents are constantly challenged by noise and health impacts.

“As a result, the city continues to request that any enhancements to the airport facilities are thoroughly analyzed in a comprehensive matter for impacts to our residents, and appropriate mitigation provided.”

Matthias said the airport is always building something new and the city must watch protect itself from airport changes.

In this case, as soon as the city sent the letter, the Port extended the comment deadline.

Legislature, new development
State Rep. Tina Orwall told the Council the still-in-session Washington Legislature should wrap it up next week, indicating that there will be some sort of public school financing solution.

“Nothing is for sure, but we’re moving in the right direction,” she said.

Dale Bright, president of the King County Labor Council and political director of the Laborers Union Local 242, told the Council the union plans to build affordable public housing along with union training facilities and a meeting on property it has on Pacific Highway.

“We are going to develop a pre-apprentice program, offer training … so we see this all as a perfect fit … and to reach into this community and become a true community partner here in the south county,” Bright said.


Comments

One Response to “Des Moines City Council objects to new airport passenger holding structure”
  1. JC Harris says:

    I agree with Ms. Cezar that the airport provides significant noise and health impacts.

    However, although I know it will sound patronising, since she is apparently new to the job I have to inform her there is no -realistic- thing as ‘mitigation’. Mitigation is to aviation what filters were to cigarettes back in the 1960’s. A clever sounding idea that people spent a bunch of time and money on but didn’t actually do much to solve the real problems.

    One cannot realistically mitigate the impacts of airplanes on our city to either the environment, property values or health… especially as they fly ever lower and ever more frequently and with ever larger payloads.

    The only real solution… which apparently no one in authority wants to hear (yet). Take the planes somewhere else.

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