Boeing 787 testing begins in Moses Lake

Brings business

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Stephen Brashear/Getty Images
A Boeing 787 Dreamliner accelerates down the runway while taking off on its long-waited first flight Dec. 15 at Paine Field In Everett. The new airplane is in Moses Lake to perform tests.

MOSES LAKE — Flight testing for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner started Thursday at the Grant County International Airport.

The added activity is bringing business to the Port of Moses Lake, as refueling services are being provided by Million Air Moses Lake, said David Bailey, the port’s project consultant.

“The air traffic control people are working the Boeing traffic, so that’s definitely some added business for them,” Bailey said.

“We get landing and flowage fees (for every gallon of fuel pumped at the airport) from it,” he explained. “Even though there isn’t personnel, there still is income into the local community here.”

The testing for the 787 is different from work for the Boeing 747-8 Freighter, which is anticipated to start at the end of January, he said.

Work for the 747-8 will be done at the former Japan Airline’s (JAL) hanger at the airport.

Bailey said the port knew the 787 testing was going to be done in Moses Lake.

“We didn’t know exactly when. We’ve always been a popular spot for certain flight testing,” Bailey commented.

“They’ve been testing at the airport since the early 60s. They’ve been a longtime user of this facility for  a number of years.”

“We’re just pleased to see the additional activities here,” Bailey commented. “We lost JAL last year, but we are getting other uses of the airport, which is very much appreciated.”

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