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Sound Reduction for Airport Neighbors

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July 11, 2018

To mitigate the impact to communities surrounding Sea-Tac Airport, the Port of Seattle Commission approved the start of a design and research phase to provide sound insulation to condominium complexes near the airport. The project is part of the Port’s long-term commitment to communities surrounding the airport, which has totaled more than $400 million of investment since 1985.

This latest round of sound insulation installations will be in coordination with the most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Noise Compatibility (Part 150) study completed in 2014.  Approximately 80 percent of the mitigation costs will be funded by FAA grants.   

An experienced noise remediation firm will be hired by the Port to review and design the project which will provide renovations including new windows, doors, storm doors, and ventilation for each unit in order to meet the FAA standard of a 45 decibel (dB) interior noise level. Currently, three condominium complexes are within the boundary and this process will verify that they meet the mitigation requirements to proceed with the work. 

In order to be eligible, the complex must be:

  • Within the noise remedy boundary 
  • Constructed  before  the establishment of local building codes enacted to meet or exceed FAA standards for noise reduction
  • Compliant with a noise audit that verifies a noise level of more than 45 dB inside the condo units 

The Port has one of the most comprehensive aircraft noise reduction programs in the nation. In 1985, Sea-Tac Airport was one of the first airports in the country to conduct a Part 150 study. Since that time over 9,400 single family homes and six condominium complexes have been insulated. Because mobile homes cannot be upgraded to levels that will comply with FAA noise reduction standards, the funding also included purchasing five mobile home parks and relocating their residents out of the noise zones.

In addition, $60 million has been provided (out of a committed $100 million agreement) to Highline Public Schools ($50 million from the Port and $50 million from the FAA) for sound insulation in noise-impacted school buildings. Finally, $8 million has been provided to Highline College for sound insulation of buildings on the campus.  

For more information, visit our Airport Noise Programs Overview page. 

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