Menu Home

$5 Million Approved to Pilot Noise Insulation Repair and Replacement for Near-Airport Communities

Assessment to determine the extent of replacements needed
February 27, 2024

SEATTLE — The Port of Seattle Commission today directed staff to conduct an assessment regarding the effectiveness of previously installed, federally funded noise insulation packages in communities around Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). In addition, the Commission authorized $5 million in Port levy dollars to pilot a program for eligible repair and replacements and will seek state and federal matching dollars for this purpose. The effort continues the Port’s pioneering of residential noise insulation programs from the 1980s and recent expedited efforts to secure federal funds to address the issue of re-insulation.

“As a Commissioner that lives near SEA Airport, I know first-hand the concerns about aircraft noise on our near-airport communities,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Hamdi Mohamed. “Commissioners routinely hear from constituents that – due to several factors, including the age and durability of sound insulation installed several decades ago – some of the FAA-funded sound insulation packages may no longer be effective. This initial pilot program provides $5 million exclusively for the costs of construction repair and replacement after the assessment focuses on understanding the scope of the problem and identifies innovative ways to lead the nation in resolving this issue.”

The Sound Insulation Repair and Replacement Pilot Program assessment will identify the issues involved in the repair and re-insulation for a select set of prioritized homes, such as:

  • Standards for replacement
  • Eligibility requirements
  • Potential funding mechanisms

The assessment will involve extensive outreach, collection of information from property owners, and analysis of that information. The Commission order authorizes a total budget of $6.5 million, with $5 million to be used exclusively for the costs of construction repair and replacement. The assessment will be provided with $1.5 million in funding to be conducted and concluded by the end of 2024 with the goal of beginning the construction phase in 2025. The Port shall use its equity index to identify and prioritize who should receive priority consideration for repair and/or replacement of their noise insulation during the pilot.

The Port will also continue to work closely with members of the State Legislature and the Washington congressional delegation who have also been partners in identifying this issue as a priority for funding and support.

“For the thousands of homeowners living next to major airports like SEA, noise pollution is a serious concern families are dealing with day in and day out,” said Senator Patty Murray. “Unfortunately, some of the noise mitigation installed in homes near SEA has failed and no longer properly blocks out the noise of airplanes flying overhead. The Port of Seattle is taking critical steps to address this problem but they need all the help they can get — which is why I am fighting to pass my bill that would update failed noise insulation in homes across the country and will continue to push for full coverage of noise mitigation replacements as the Senate takes up the FAA Reauthorization bill.”

Since 1985, the Port has provided sound insulation to over 9,400 single-family homes, pioneering a program that was later implemented at many other U.S. airports. The Port has also worked closely with Washington’s congressional delegation at the federal level to advocate for federal funding for re-insulation as part of this year’s FAA Reauthorization Act. This effort included the first-ever StART (SEA Stakeholder Advisory Round Table) DC Fly-in, which brought 20 local and state elected officials and staff to advocate jointly for the inclusion of mutually agreed upon aircraft noise and emissions reduction policies in the FAA Reauthorization bill.

“Communities near airports and flight pathways are overburdened by the impacts of aviation noise and emissions and we must take steps to mitigate those impacts,” said Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash). “Sound insulation has long been a priority of mine, and today’s announcement will help ensure that more homes in our region are properly insulated. I have previously introduced legislation with Senator Patty Murray — the Sound Insulation Treatment Repair and Replacement Program Act — to unlock federal funding for insulation repairs and replacements. The Port of Seattle’s Order is an important advancement in tandem with our legislation to address failed insulation and provide funding for necessary repairs and replacements to bring relief to aviation-impacted communities in our region.”

Current program continues

The Port in 2020 accelerated its sound insulation projects for homes, apartments, condominiums, and places of worship to be completed in less than half its scheduled timeline. Since then, the Port approved $40 million for more than 215 apartment units, began insulation of the first condominium units, , and approved $25.9 million in funding for places of worship.

The Port has completed nearly $300 million in sound reduction improvements for communities surrounding the airport, plus another $100 million for school buildings. Sound insulation near the airport is typically funded with approximately 80% in grants from the FAA and 20% funding from SEA Airport revenues. Completed work includes:

  • Installation of sound insulation in over 9,400 single family homes
  • Sound insulation in 246 condo units in five complexes
  • Investments of $100 million for sound insulation ($50 million from the Port and $50 million from the FAA) in noise-impacted school buildings; ten of 15 identified schools are complete 
  • Expenditures of $14 million for sound insulation in 14 Highline College buildings

For more information, and to see if your home may qualify for sound insulation, learn more about the process. Also learn more from the Commission order for the Sound Insulation Repair and Replacement Pilot Program.



Perry Cooper | SEA Airport
(206) 787-4923 |

Related to $5 Million Approved to Pilot Noise Insulation Repair and Replacement for Near-Airport Communities

Back to Top