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FAA: Seattle Skyscraper a Hazard for Nearby Airport

Image: FAA: Seattle Skyscraper a Hazard for Nearby Airport
A passenger on the Bainbridge Island Ferry takes a cell phone photo of the skyline in Seattle, Washington April 9, 2014. (Jason Redmond/Reuters)

By    |   Wednesday, 06 Jan 2016 10:15 AM

The FAA believes a proposed Seattle skyscraper could be a hazard to passing airplanes if the 101-story building is erected downtown.

The Federal Aviation Administration sent a notice of presumed hazard to the tower's developer, Crescent Heights Inspirational Living, last month, saying that the current design would result in a "substantial adverse effect," according to MyNorthwest.com.

At a current proposed height of 1,117 feet tall, the structure would become the tallest building on the West Coast, topping Los Angeles' U.S. Bank Tower (1,018 feet) and Seattle's Columbia Center (967 feet), MyNorthwest.com noted. The building was alternately reported as being either 101 or 102 stories.

It would host two levels of retail shopping, four levels of above-grade parking, six levels of office space, along with 350 hotel rooms and 1,200 residential units, according to KOMO-TV.

The FAA believes, though, that the new structure could harm travel at Boeing Field and disrupt helicopter service to and from Harborview Medical Center.

"Initial findings of this study indicate that the structure as described exceeds obstruction standards and/or would have an adverse physical or electromagnetic interference effect upon navigable air space or air navigation facilities," the FAA said in a letter to Crescent Heights Inspirational Living in December, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.

David Ketchum, senior planner for airports and heliports for T-O Engineers, told KOMO-TV that the notice of presumed hazard is part of the negotiation process with the FAA when it comes to building heights.

"Most often these processes result in structure heights that meet developer needs while maintaining the integrity of our airspace system," Ketchum told the television station.

Crescent Heights said in a statement that it believes "that a determination of 'no hazard' will be reached."

The FAA said the building could be considered safe for aviation if it was lowered to 965 feet, but Anthony Wood, executive director of the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, told KOMO-TV that Crescent Heights may not want to give up the marketing advantage of having the tallest building on the West Coast.

"The history of tall buildings is tightly interwoven with ego and claims," Wood said. "[Marketing a tall building] will have a direct impact on the rental-able or saleable area."

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The FAA believes a proposed Seattle skyscraper could be a hazard to passing airplanes if the 101-story building is erected downtown.
faa, seattle, skyscraper, hazard
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2016-15-06
Wednesday, 06 Jan 2016 10:15 AM
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