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Southwest, Jazz Aviation, and Spirit Airlines have been recognised by The Port of Seattle for doing the best job to minimise their noise impact on the local communities surrounding Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Each received a 2019 Fly Quiet award from the airport for their efforts during the last calendar year.

The annual Fly Quiet Awards were developed by Port staff and a citizen advisory committee in 2005 as a way to increase airline and pilot awareness of aircraft noise impacts on local communities.

Fly Quiet was included as a continuing noise programme measure in the most recent Part 150 Noise Study update completed in 2014.


Airlines are judged using 3 award criteria – the sound levels of their operations (utilising four of the Port’s noise monitors); success at flying within the noise abatement flight procedures; and adhering to the airport’s ground maintenance engine run-up regulations.

As a result, Southwest Airlines received the Fly Quiet Bravo Award, which goes to the quietest jet airline among the five busiest airlines operationally at Sea-Tac Airport.

Southwest Airlines was recognised for noise levels that were consistently lower than competitors and for flying noise abatement procedures at a high rate of success.

Jazz Aviation, operating as Air Canada Express, received the Fly Quiet Regional Award for operating as the quietest regional jet airline. It reached remarkably low levels of noise from their operations and had good success flying noise abatement procedures.

Sea-Tac pax

And Spirit Airlines received the Fly Quiet Awardfor operating the quietest jet airline with at least 1,000 annual operations.

According to the Port of Seattle, Spirit Airlines reached noise levels that were significantly lower than their competitors in this large group and consistently flew noise abatement procedures correctly.

“We appreciate the efforts and consideration made by our award winners for Fly Quiet, who recognise the importance of reducing impacts to our local communities,” said Sea-Tac managing director, Lance Lyttle.

“This is an impressive cross section of our airlines and we feel it is important to continue to recognise their work that is not always apparent to the public.”


After more than a decade of recognising airlines with the Fly Quiet Awards, in 2020 the Port of Seattle will add a new ‘Late Night Noise Limitation’ scoring category that will assign air carriers a penalty score for exceeding noise thresholds between midnight and 5am.

The Port is developing the broader Late Night Noise Limitation Program and other proposals to reduce aviation noise in consultation with StART (Sea-Tac Airport Stakeholder Advisory Round Table), a stakeholder advisory group made up of local city representatives and aviation leaders.

The Port is currently pursuing three recommendations that originated with StART:

• A Late Night Noise Limitation Program, which includes voluntary measures to reduce late night (midnight to 5 a.m.) noise by incentivising air carriers to fly at less noise sensitive hours or transition to quieter aircraft;• A new Runway Use Plan agreement between the FAA and the Port, which includes revising the current Runway Use Plan for the FAA to minimise use of the 3rdRunway during late night hours (midnight to 5am); and

• A long term project include an Instrument Landing System (ILS), a glide slope proposal that would raise Runway 34R’s glideslope for arriving aircraft to potentially reduce noise.

These programmes and proposals, along with others that are in development, require ongoing discussion and approvals from airlines and federal aviation officials.


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