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Inslee signs bill ending the current search for the state’s next major airport!

“Long delays at general security lines at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport last September meant lines out to the parking garage for a period. As Sea-Tac nears its capacity, this may become more frequent unless a nearby community volunteers to be the site of a new airport.” Credit: Ellen M. Banner, The Seattle Times.

UPDATE: May 18 – The Tacoma News Tribune via Yahoo! News: Commission studying new WA airport still could recommend site, despite Inslee’s wishes

WA lawmakers kick hunt for major airport site far into the future

Excerpt from Seattle Times:

Rural residents in the three locations in Pierce and Thurston counties identified as possible sites for a new airport larger than Sea-Tac Airport can rest easy: No airport is coming their way.

Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday signed into law a bill winding down a state commission that produced the shortlist of potential locations. A plan to recommend a single site by next month is also now dead.

After a ferocious backlash from the communities at the three shortlisted sites and at another near Enumclaw in King County studied separately, all four locations are now off the table. Each was a so-called “greenfield” site without an existing airport.

Warren Hendrickson, chair of the Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission, created in 2019 to select a new airport site, said “not a single city, county, or port, no government agency nor any sovereign Indian nation has supported any of the three greenfield sites.

“You add to that the public outcry on what the personal impacts would be for those residents and businesses that live in or close to those areas, and I think the Legislature recognized that this is something that can’t go any further,” Hendrickson said. “I think they recognized the political realities.”

Effort to build new airport in western Washington shifts to expanding existing airports

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a new bill that resets the study for a new airport with added vetoes making it clear the priority is expanding existing airports.

Read more from KING-5 TV News, Seattle.

With stroke of pen, Inslee weighs in on controversial search for WA’s next major airport

Excerpt from The Olympian:

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday signed a bill into law that called for ending the current search for the state’s next major airport as he expressed a desire for a deeper review of expanding existing facilities before contemplating a brand-new one.

Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1791 sought to immediately supplant the Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission, which was tasked by state lawmakers in 2019 with recommending a preferred location for a potential new airport to fill a looming void in Washington’s commercial flight capacity.

The CACC, created by the Legislature as a body of 15-voting members largely from the transportation industry, caused a firestorm in communities in and around Graham, Roy and East Olympia when in September it narrowed options for an airport location to three greenfield sites in those areas.

ESHB 1791 offers protection for Pierce and Thurston county residents who have fiercely resisted the prospects of a new airport landing near them and acts as a restart of the state’s investigation into its aviation future.

“The pressure valve was getting ready to explode and this took the pressure off,” Rep. Jake Fey, D-Tacoma, a primary bill sponsor, told The News Tribune.

But the governor’s vetoes of four sections Monday also changed elements of the legislation.

Posted by Steve on May 17, 2023 at 12:31 am | Permalink

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