Here’s how WA House handled bill to scrap new airport in rural Pierce, Thurston counties
+ Excerpt from The Olympian:
Washington state grew one step closer Wednesday to launching a new and broad examination of its commercial aviation future and restarting a process that put three rural areas in the South Puget Sound firmly in the middle of it.
Bipartisan legislation to supplant the Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission — a state-created group tasked in 2019 with recommending a location for a new major airport — passed the House by an 88-9 vote. House Bill 1791 now moves to the Senate for consideration.
Under the bill, a new work group would analyze the strengths and weaknesses of an expanded list of potential airport sites as part of its comprehensive review. The proposed CACC successor would not be assigned with offering any recommendation and it would have to explicitly exclude any location incompatible with nearby military operations. Joint Base Lewis-McChord representatives have said that all three sites being mulled by the CACC would interfere with the nearby military installation. Opponents of an airport in Pierce and Thurston counties also have raised concern about its impact on health, wildlife and the environment.
During a virtual hearing Wednesday, Warren Hendrickson, the acting chair of the CACC, repeated his belief that neither of the three greenfield sites were likely to be endorsed by the commission.
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