HOUSE BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
As Passed House:
January 30, 2020
Title: An act relating to aircraft noise abatement.
Brief Description: Addressing aircraft noise abatement.
Sponsors: House Committee on Local Government (originally sponsored by Representatives Pellicciotti, Orwall, Gregerson, Reeves and Santos).
Local Government: 2/12/19, 2/20/19 [DPS].
Passed House: 3/4/19, 55-41.
Passed House: 1/30/20, 58-37.
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Majority Report: The substitute bill be substituted therefor and the substitute bill do pass. Signed by 4 members: Representatives Pollet, Chair; Peterson, Vice Chair; Appleton and Senn.
Minority Report: Do not pass. Signed by 2 members: Representatives Kraft, Ranking Minority Member; Goehner.
Staff: Yvonne Walker (786-7841).
Noise abatement programs generally focus on reducing the noise produced by aircrafts while on the ground, during takeoffs and landings, and during flights over populated areas.
A port district that operates an airport serving more than 20 scheduled jet aircraft flights per day may undertake a program of aircraft noise abatement.
Prior to initiating any noise abatement activities, the port commission must determine the nature and extent of the impact of aircraft noise on surrounding areas. No noise abatement activities may be conducted outside an impacted area. An impacted area is limited to no more than 6 miles beyond the paved end of any runway, or more than 1 mile from the centerline of any runway, or from any imaginary runway centerline extending 6 miles from the paved end of such runway.
The port commission may employ a number of remedial programs for noise abatement. Among other items, the aircraft noise abatement program may include the purchasing of property, transaction assistance (assistance for selling a home), and mortgage insurance for private land owners who are unable to obtain mortgage insurance due to the noise impact, and soundproofing structures. A property owner may receive benefits more than once under each separate noise abatement program, if the property is subjected to increased aircraft noise or differing aircraft noise impacts that would have afforded different levels of mitigation, even if the property owner had waived all damages and conveyed a full and unrestricted easement.
Summary of Substitute Bill:
A port district that operates an airport serving more than 900 scheduled jet aircraft flights per day, rather than 20 flights per day, may undertake an aircraft noise abatement program.
In addition, the dimensions for impact areas are expanded for abating the impact of aircraft noise on areas surrounding an airport. For purposes of an impact area, a port district may not undertake any noise abatement activity that is:
more than 10 miles (instead of 6 miles) beyond the paved north end of any runway;
more than 13 miles (instead of 6 miles) beyond the south end paved end of any runway; or
more than 2 miles (instead of 1 mile) from the centerline of any runway extending 6 miles north and 13 miles south from the paved end of such runway.
The provision relating to noise abate areas extending from an imaginary runway centerline is eliminated.
In developing a remedial program for noise abatement, the port commission may take steps as appropriate, including but not limited to one or more of the remedial programs specified in statute.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony:
(In support) Things have changed over the last decade with regards to how airplanes move and today their travel patterns are based on a more concentrated path. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has made the determination that it is better to affect a fewer number of people in a much more concentrated way then to spread flights out over larger areas. This bill recognizes the only role that the state has in regards to airplane traffic mitigation.
Since air traffic has become concentrated in various zones around the country, the FAA will soon be expanding their own mitigation zones. The goal is to try to avoid the state having a mitigation zone that is smaller than what the enhanced federal FAA zones will be. This bill will ensure that the state is not the inhibiting factor for why local services are not provided.
Persons Testifying: Representative Pellicciotti, prime sponsor.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: None.