Friday, June 02, 2023

Airport siting bill passes WA House, gets Senate hearing

Staff Report | March 22, 2023 3:32 PM

OLYMPIA – A bill that would replace the Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission established in 2019 to recommend possible locations for a new airport had a public hearing in the Washington Senate Tuesday.

“The CACC established in 2019, didn't have enough time to do a thorough review of what they set out to accomplish,” co-sponsor Rep. Tom Dent (R-Moses Lake) said in a release from his office. “COVID played a role, but the commission was also lacking adequate resources and did not provide enough outreach and notice to those who could have been impacted.”

The legislation, House Bill 1791, would replace the CACC and appoint a work group to provide a comprehensive look at new and existing airport sites in Washington.

“This new, strong bipartisan piece of legislation is the culmination of hours and hours of work. The new workgroup will involve more stakeholders, take a closer look at environmental and infrastructure considerations, and the strengths and weaknesses of each site,” Dent said.

The bill was first introduced on Feb. 7 and referred to the House Transportation Committee. After a public hearing, it passed the floor 88-9. It moved on to the Senate where it was referred to the Senate Committee on Transportation on March 10, and received a public hearing on Tuesday.

“With the Sea-Tac International Airport having no facilities plan to meet demand forecast beyond 2027, and regional aviation demand forecasted to double by 2050, it is imperative we move forward on addressing our airport and overall transportation needs immediately,” Dent said.

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