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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 15, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Commuter-jet crash near Buffalo

Signaling the constant threat overhead

Opening the news this morning to see the horrible scenes of a commuter-jet crash near Buffalo brings terrifying thoughts of what can and eventually will happen as air traffic increases in suburban areas [“Commuter jet crashes into home; 49 killed,” page one, Feb. 13].

Yes, these are rare events, but it turns into a law of averages, as any scientist or statistician will tell you. This news is particularly disturbing in regards to Paine Field in Snohomish County, since no fewer than six schools have been built in the flight path of Paine after the Mediated Role Determination (MRD) agreement in the 1970s.

The MRD agreement was put in place to encourage suburban growth by promising a role void of commercial air traffic around Paine Field. These schools were built on the promise that children and their communities would not need to live with the constant noise or threat of larger, commuter airplanes overhead.

Interestingly enough, the tragic crash in Buffalo involved the Bombardier Q400, the plane Horizon wants to fly at Paine Field. I can’t imagine a tragedy like this in our community with so many schools and family homes directly below a flight path.

Let’s keep this type of tragedy away from our community, and let’s hold our officials to their agreement.

— Brad Greenfield, Mukilteo

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