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FAA claims Paine Field Airport won’t pose noise issues, neighbors disagree


A recent FAA study claims that Paine Field’s upcoming commercial flights won’t cause noise problems for neighbors, but some residents in the area aren’t buying it.

RELATED: FAA reopens study on commercial flights at Paine Field

Everett will soon offer commercial flights out of Paine Field, but not without some protests from those complaining about the noise from the increased air traffic.

The FAA sets the threshold of noise compatibility with residential neighborhoods at 65 dBA, a weighted decibel system that judges how sound is perceived to the human ear. In its study of Paine Field’s environmental impact, it concluded that there are no homes or residences in that range.

Some residents claim otherwise.

“I went out with a decibel reader, and just a normal jet flying over is 85 decibels,” Valerie Krueger told KIRO Radio. Krueger is a resident of the area that lives two miles north of Paine Field, and claimed that her neighborhood wasn’t included in the FAA’s impact report.

“To leave those neighborhoods out of the study is particularly maddening,” she added. For reference, 85 decibels is generally equivalent to the volume of a garbage disposal at three feet.

Paine Field releases monthly reports for noise complaints in the immediate area, with the latest coming from July 2018. Of the 53 total noise complaints lodged in that month, 15 came from areas just north of the airstrip.

Krueger fears for her neighborhood’s overall quality of life, and a drop in home values that can be a results of living adjacent to a noisy airport. Like many of her neighbors, she bought her home relying on an agreement with the county that banned commercial flights in that area, signed in 1978.

That agreement has since been amended with language that opened up the possibility of limited air traffic.

Once Paine Field opens to commercial traffic in 2019, there will be approximately 24 round trip flights moving through the airport daily, from Southwest, United, and Alaska Airlines. Four flights will run through the night.

The FAA still needs to sign off on the final, updated survey, and there will be a public hearing on it Monday at 5:30 p.m. at the Lynnwood Convention Center.

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