Washington’s next commercial airport one step closer to taking flight; next state meeting Jan. 9

SeaTac terminal

Washington state officials will begin 2020 with more work researching and discussing the location of Washington’s next commercial airport as the Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission (CACC) meets Jan. 9, at Sea-Tac Airport.

The commission will narrow down possible airport sites based on previous research as well as factors including airspace, local land use, environmental impacts, market demand and community input.

The group will present the ongoing Puget Sound Regional Council Aviation Baseline Study and discuss a sustainable vision for Washington’s aviation system, including ways to accommodate capacity at existing airports.

A Puget Sound Regional Council forecast released in June 2019 shows:

    • Regional demand for enplanements (passenger boardings for departure) on commercial flights is expected to grow from 24 million in 2018 to between 49.3 million and 55.6 million by 2050. This reflects an increase of between 105% to 132%.
    • Regional demand for operations (all takeoffs and landings) is expected to grow from 438,000 in 2018 to between 810,000 and 914,000 by 2050. This reflects an increase of between 85% to 109%.
    • Demand for regional air cargo capacity is expected to grow from 552,000 metric tons in 2018 to 1,300,000 by 2050, an increase of 136%.
    • Regional demand for general aviation operations, such as aviation activities for business, flight instruction, medical, emergency, law enforcement, recreation, or tourism, is expected to grow from 1,351,000 in 2017 to 1,806,000 by 2050, an increase of 34%.

The Jan. 9 meeting is open to the public, but does not include a public comment period.

The CACC’s 15 voting and 11 nonvoting members include representatives from the aviation and freight industries, private citizens, state and local agencies and elected officials. The Washington State Department of Transportation provides the commission technical assistance and staff support from its Aviation Division.

The commission’s first meeting was Oct. 30, 2019, at the state Capitol Campus in Olympia and included discussion of the administrative process, goals of the group and previous aviation studies.

The Washington State Legislature created the CACC to determine how Washington can meet future commercial aviation demands. Final recommendations are due to the Legislature in January 2022.

To keep up with documents and information, visit the CACC website.

Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission meeting:

When:            10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 9

Where:           Sea-Tac Airport, Central Auditorium

Details:           The meeting is open to the public but no public comment period is scheduled.


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