Quiet and Healthy Skies Task Force report expected by end of March

City to host Highline Forum on March 28.

A report on the recommendations for mitigating the impacts of Sea-Tac Airport on Federal Way is expected to be delivered to the City Council by the end of March.

For the past year, the city’s Quiet and Healthy Skies Task Force, made up of community members and city staff, has been assigned with making short-term, intermediate and long-term suggestions on reducing aircraft noise and the environmental and health impact of flight emissions.

“This is a top priority for me and my administration, but we can’t just flail around,” Mayor Jim Ferrell said. “We have got to be very strategic on how we approach this issue.”

In addition to its own study, it is important for the city to work with neighboring cities and organizations to address the increasing impacts on the community as the airport increases its capacity, Ferrell said.

The state Legislature this session approved a budget proviso that allocates up to $500,000 toward a study on airport impacts.

The city of SeaTac has pledged a $250,000 match and Des Moines has said it will give $50,000. Other neighboring cities, including Federal Way, are being asked to contribute $50,000 each.

The Federal Way City Council’s Finance/Economic Development/Regional Affairs Committee (FEDRAC) had the item on its agenda for discussion on Tuesday.

City hosting forum

Federal Way will host the Highline Forum, which discusses the impacts of the airport on surrounding communities, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, in Council Chambers at Federal Way City Hall, 33325 Eighth Ave. S.

“The Highline Forum was a forum that was developed five to 10 years ago that resulted originally from concerns about the third runway that was being developed,” Yarden Weidenfeld, the mayor’s senior policy advisor, said at the Feb. 20 City Council meeting. “Since that issue is now basically moot, it’s now a forum that exists to discuss issues of mutual concern between the member organizations.”

The forum includes elected officials and senior staff from Port of Seattle, Highline College, Highline School District and the cities of Federal Way, Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, Tukwila and SeaTac. Ferrell, council member Lydia Assefa-Dawson and Weidenfeld are Federal Way’s representatives on the forum.

The forum, which is open to the public and allows for public comment, meets every other month.

Top issues brought up in the forum include increased air traffic and the upcoming Sustainable Airport Master Plan, Weidenfeld said.

In February the Port of Seattle convened a new community roundtable called SEA Stakeholder Advisory Round Table.

StART will provide an opportunity for community members to discuss concerns and voice feedback regarding Sea-Tac Airport construction projects, programs and operations.

The committee will include staff and community members from adjacent cities, the Port of Seattle, airlines and air cargo companies.

The Federal Aviation Administration also is expected to participate.

Ferrell appointed John Resing, the former chair of the Quiet and Healthy Skies TaskForce, resident Chris Hall and Weidenfeld to StART.