As part of its 2023-2025 transportation budget, the Washington State Legislature allocated $6.5 million for a research and development ccnter for sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) at Snohomish County’s Paine Field Airport.
Executive Dave Somers recently announced the plan for the center, which is a partnership with Washington State University (WSU) and combined with other WSU assets will be the only facility to collect, sample, and distribute SAF at a scale needed for widespread use in planes, including the largest aircraft.
“Snohomish County is the global heart of cutting-edge commercial aerospace manufacturing, which has been an important economic driver of the county for over 50 years,” Somers said. “With our history and resources, Snohomish County is the ideal place for businesses to invest in trailblazing climate change solutions.”
The new research and development center “is a foundational component of our long-term commitment to generate new jobs in environmentally sustainable sectors and help decarbonize aviation,” Somers said. “I’m grateful to the Legislature for this funding that will help make this vital project a reality.”
“The new Sustainable Aviation Fuel Research and Development Center marks the start of a new era for our region,” said 21st District State Sen. Marko Liias. “Our community has long been a leader in the aviation space, but this is a new frontier. This center is not only a bold economic opportunity, it signifies our commitment to bold climate action.”
Paine Field represents the ideal location for the center due to its proximity to the production of medium- and long-haul aircraft, defined as planes that seat at least 100 passengers and fly at least 150 minutes. These aircraft contribute approximately 73 percent of carbon emissions in aviation.
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