The City of Burien declared victory in a battle over flight noise.
Ever since last summer, neighbors have been concerned about commuter planes from Sea-Tac Airport flying low and loud over homes, schools, and parks.
But not anymore.
The Federal Aviation Administration sent Burien's mayor a letter this week that will immediately make the skies overhead much more quiet.
In fact, neighbors noticed the change even before the city made the official announcement.
"I knew something had changed on Tuesday, because no airplanes were coming west. So I made a phone call to the city and the city said they couldn't discuss it with me yet, but within 48 hours they would let me know," said Larry Cripe.
It was in July 2016 when Cripe says 30 to 40 propeller driver aircraft suddenly started flying right over his home every single day, as part of new flight patterns put in place by the FAA.
"Let's make no mistake, they're jet aircraft that turn a propeller. It's a jet engine. And the jet engine is just as noisy, even though it's turning a propeller," he said.
It was so frustrating and so loud, Cripe formed a group of concerned neighbors that call themselves the Quiet Skies Coalition. He also appealed to the City of Burien to take legal action on behalf of its residents.
The strategy appears to have worked.
The letter the city received on April 13 stated that the FAA will be ceasing the North Flow flight patterns over Burien that are known as the "New Route."
The letter also acknowledged a nearly 9 percent increase in operations at Sea-Tac Airport between 2015 and 2016. The letter said that growth is expected to continue due to greater demand and additional air carriers entering the market.
Because of that, Burien city leaders know the flight pattern problem could come up again in the future.
"We are looking forward to working with the FAA to ensure they use the appropriate process for public engagement and environmental review of future flight patterns," said Interim City Manager Tony Piasecki. "We will remain vigilant and continue to protect the interests of Burien residents."
Cripe said he and the Quiet Skies Coalition plan to do the same.
"This is a victory for all of Puget Sound. Not just the City of Burien," Cripe said. "We are going to now require the FAA, the port authority, and Alaska Airlines to participate in discussion as we move forward in the expansion of Sea-Tac Airport."
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