Washington State’s Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission released its Phase I report that includes a preliminary list of six airport sites with potential for expansion — and Everett’s Paine Field is one of them.
The report was requested by the Washington State Legislature in Substitute Senate Bill 5370 to meet Washington’s aviation capacity needs.
The report also includes a proposal to meet near-term aviation demand at two or more existing airports while the work to locate a new airport continues and a proposal to extend the commission’s final recommendation deadline to 2024.
In addition to Paine Field, the preliminary airport sites are Arlington Municipal Airport, Bremerton National Airport, Sanderson Field Airport (Shelton), Tacoma Narrows Airport (Gig Harbor), and Ed Carlson Memorial Field (South Lewis County Airport). These airports could meet some of the demand for air passenger service, air cargo operations and/or general aviation, the commission said.
“The list of six potential sites should only be considered preliminary because it only includes existing airports at this time,” said David Fleckenstein, commission chair. “Additional work needs to be done to identify potential sites that may be more appropriate for a major airport.” The commission’s work “was greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which constrained opportunities for community engagement” he added.
The commission said it has heard many concerns about noise and the effects on the environment and society. Future work will provide an opportunity to consider measures to reduce both noise and harmful emissions from aircraft. Some of those measures may include the potential use of community benefits agreements at select airports.
The commission’s next upcoming virtual webinar will be in February and next official meeting in the spring. The website will be updated as soon as the dates are confirmed.