Yelm Community Blog

Rural Thurston airport site west of Yelm still in consideration!

Proposed airport in rural Thurston County will stay under consideration for now. Credit: The Olympian

+ The JOLT News: County denies having hand in airport selection process

+ KING-5 TV News, NBC Seattle: A coalition of Thurston County cities and county commissions have sent a formal letter to a state agency in opposition to a proposed airport in the area. Mayors of Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater, Yelm, Tenino, Rainier, and Bucoda joined the BoCC in the letter sent to state legislators. The BoCC said in the letter it has demonstrated “consistent opposition” to any proposed airport plans since 2020.

Proposed airport in rural Thurston County will stay under consideration for now

A state commission did not narrow its shortlist of options by an Oct. 15 deadline as expected.

From The Tacoma News-Tribune:

A rural site in Thurston County remains in the running for a new airport, according to a new state commission report.

The Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission initially planned to identify two locations for further study by Oct. 15 and select one preferred site by June 2023.

Instead, the state commission issued a report to the legislature indicating it had selected two options that were already under consideration: building a two-runway airport on a greenfield, or undeveloped, site in either Pierce or Thurston County, and adding capacity to Paine Field in Snohomish County.

This action effectively organized the remaining sites into two options rather than remove proposals from their short list. The report says the commission decided to do this during a Sept. 23 meeting so it could continue to develop a greenfield option.

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Community engagement will be a focus for the state commission over the next few months, according to a Friday update. The commission expects to narrow the options by spring 2023 after reviewing the results of an in-depth analysis for each greenfield site.

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News of the proposals in Pierce and Thurston counties has drawn organized opposition from many local residents, elected officials and candidates during an election year. In Thurston County, the Board of Commissioners has remained steadfastly opposed to any new airport in the county.

The so-called “Thurston County Central” site, still under consideration, has been identified as a circular area that spans six-miles in diameter northeast of Tenino and southeast of Olympia.

Read more

+ The Jolt News: Concerns still loom over Port’s airport plans – Port presents preferred development alternative for commercial air service area

+ KING-5 TV News, NBC Seattle: Pierce County objects to state’s proposed airport plan – Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier said a potential airport would come at the expense of the county’s rural landscape.

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