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Area Airport Bill heads to Gov. Inslee’s desk –
If signed, would supplant the state-created group!

A map of Thurston County that includes a circular area where a proposed international airport could have been situated. Credit: Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission via The Olympian.

What WA Senate vote means for airport prospects in Pierce, Thurston and what’s next

Excerpt from The Olympian:

The Washington Senate voted Wednesday to supplant the Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission, the state-created group whose consideration of three greenfield sites for Washington’s next major airport ignited a furor in Pierce and Thurston counties.

By a 31 to 17 vote, state Senators approved Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1791, sending the amended bill to Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk for approval. If signed, the legislation will go into effect immediately.

The bipartisan bill, which was championed by Reps. Jake Fey, D-Tacoma, and Tom Dent, R-Moses Lake, among other lawmakers, would effectively reset a process underway since 2019 when the CACC was pegged with recommending a preferred location for the state’s next major airport.


ESHB 1791 would replace the CACC with a work group that would be directed to broadly examine the state’s future aviation needs and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of an expanded list of potential airport sites. Unlike its predecessor, the work group would not be tasked with recommending any location.

The bill, which is supported by anti-airport activists, would also specifically exclude from airport site consideration any location incompatible with nearby military operations. Joint Base Lewis-McChord has said that all three sites being considered by the CACC would interfere with its operations.

Posted by Steve on April 12, 2023 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

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