Where do I begin? I have a lot to say on this topic, but I think we can all agree that Des Moines has not been treated fairly by either the Port Of Seattle or the FAA. I believe that we need to work towards two goals:
First, we neeed to place a hard cap on flights and that cap needs to be significantly lower than the current number. This idea seems so outrageous to every other politician I’ve mentioned it to that they always come back with a reply like, “Well, we need to build another airport first.” or “We need to move the cargo to another airport first.” Basically, every other leader will only discuss limiting flights after there is another place to accommodate growth. That is not what I’m saying. What I’m saying–and I want you to hear this clearly–is that I want to cap flights right now, whether there are other places for the overflow to go or not.
I view the airport like a for-profit swimming pool. The pool can only safely accommodate 1,000 people so there is are regulations to limit the number of swimmers to 1,000. If the owner of the swimming pool has more potential customers? Tough. Because we’ve determined that it’s not safe to try to fit them in. That’s what regulations are for: to keep people safe. The airport, like our swimming pool, has too many customers and new customers will simply need to wait until another swimming pool can be found.
Secondly, we should be compensated by the Port of Seattle for costs to our health, to our property, and to our businesses. Remember: every plane that travels through our skies is more money for someone else and at our expense. So we should be exploring a per operation fee for Des Moines. This money to be used for mitigation and to cover the medical expenses for those who develop the kinds of cancers and respiratory issues known to be caused by airplane emissions.