Airport expansion bill passes state Senate

Print Article

OLYMPIA — Creation or expansion of an airport in Washington to relieve the stress of a growing demand at Sea-Tac would be the focus of the Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission created by legislation passed in the Senate Monday.

Sea-Tac is the ninth-busiest airport in the United States and 19th in air cargo volume in North America with traffic forecast to continue growing, according to a legislative staff report. In 2018, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) funded the Puget Sound Regional Council to look at aviation in the area and help with future planning. The Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission would look at potential facility sites and create a short list of six sites by January 2020.

13th District Sen. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake, spoke in support of the bill, noting that Moses Lake has an underutilized airport that could be a good fit.

“We have the longest landing strip this side of the Mississippi,” said Warnick, in reference to Grant County International Airport.

The bill passed the Senate in a bipartisan 45-1 vote, with Senator Marko Liias, D-Lynnwood, voting in opposition.

The broad language in the bill would allow for Paine Field Airport in Snohomish County to be considered for expansion, which is something Liias opposes. Paine Field is already undergoing expansions to passenger travel and Liias said he would not support any additional expansions at the moment. Liias said he does support the idea of expansions to meet Washington’s needs at airfields, like the one in Moses Lake, that could handle the increased traffic.

The House’s companion bill, HB 1683, received bipartisan support in committee hearings. Representative Tina Orwall, D-Des Moines, is the prime sponsor and has Sea-Tac International Airport in her district. Co-sponsor — and the only professional pilot in the Legislature — 13th District Rep. Tom Dent, R-Moses Lake, has put out a package of bills aimed at improving aviation safety, funding and innovation.

In the House Transportation Committee Hearing, Steve Edmiston, a member of the state Department of Commerce Aviation Impact Study Committee, testified in support of the bill.

“I call this a ‘what’s not to like’ bill because of the statewide economic impacts that this bill can create,” said Edmiston. Economic impacts are “no longer reserved for an isolated piece of geography,” he said. “That has been our model at Sea-Tac since 1947.”

The commission would be composed of a member of the Department of Commerce, a member from the Department of Transportation Aeronautics Division, members from the private sector, members from metropolitan planning organization and members from various ports, among others. There would be 13 voting positions and two non-voting. The bill now moves to the House for consideration.

Print Article

Read More Local News

4 injured in collision near Mattawa

July 22, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald MATTAWA — Four people were injured in a three-vehicle collision near Mattawa Saturday night. About 6:02 p.m. a 16-year-old boy in a 2005 Chevrolet Venture van started to slow down due to a collision...

Comments

Read More

Watershed Festival coming to the Gorge Aug. 2-4

July 22, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald GEORGE — Jason Aldean, the Zac Brown Band and Miranda Lambert – along with her friends in the Pistol Annies – will be the headliners of the annual Watershed Festival Aug. 2 through 4 at the Gorge Amp...

Comments

Read More

Make your taste buds dance with homemade salsas

July 22, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald I really like fresh salsa. It is a quick and easy way to throw a few vegetables into a meal or as a snack. You control the ingredients, so if you need to use up a few extra tomatoes than what is call...

Comments

Read More

I-90 restrictions at Vantage Bridge, Moses Lake this week

July 22, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald VANTAGE — A travel restriction will be in effect on eastbound Interstate 90 over the Vantage Bridge from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday for debris removal, according to the Washington State Departmen...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(509) 765-4561
PO Box 910
Moses Lake, WA 98837

©2019 Columbia Basin Herald Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X