I went to the Paine Field environmental assessment information session with a positive attitude about the commercial flight expansion, recognizing the need for such service in our area while also realizing that there would be some negative effects (“Everett airline service gets last airing, pro and con,” The Herald, Oct. 30). I expected to hear and see an analysis of those effects at the information session. I came away feeling that Environmental Science Associates group was hired to promote the project, not to study or inform.
Instead of analyzing impacts of the airport expansion, the environmental assessment reported no significant issues, an illogical conclusion given the plan for 24 flights daily, double that with takeoff and landings. This conclusion seemed to be the result of artificially limiting the studies.
For instance, the noise was calculated in terms of “averages” rather than actual noise during takeoff and landing. Additionally, the flight path study was limited to the area immediately surrounding Paine Field; with nothing on the map showing residential areas further out, much of which obviously would be affected.
The traffic impact was apparently calculated according to some unproven assumption of future reduced general traffic that would offset increased airport traffic. And then there is air quality. Planes are undoubtedly a significant source of pollution, and I feel guilty about how often I fly. Sure, I would like to say that there is “negligible to discountable” impact from planes; but clearly 24 planes landing and taking off daily will have an impact.
So now I feel deceived about this project and no longer trust the process or the intent. My previous positive attitude has been replaced by skepticism.