House passes bill that would restart search process for new airport site in Washington
A bill to restart the state’s process on finding a site for a new airport passed the Washington state House on Wednesday with a vote of 88-9.
HB 1791 would appoint a work group to “provide a comprehensive investigation of existing and new airport sites in the state,” according to a release from Washington House Democrats.
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The group, which will be known as the Commercial Aviation Coordinating Work Group, wouldn’t recommend a single site but would evaluate and identify the strengths and weaknesses of potential sites.
If the bill is signed into law, the workgroup will replace the Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission established in 2019.
“Opposition to the state’s proposed airport sites had been loud, fierce, and featured prominently in many regional and statewide news outlets. It was clear that the process that we established in 2019 was severely flawed,” said bill sponsor Rep. Jake Fey. “But it is also true that we need to plan for all of our future transportation needs, including potential increases in commercial air traffic. Especially because Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is expected to reach capacity by 2050, with 27 million passengers unable to fly because supply won’t be able to keep up with demand.”
HB 1791 now heads to the Senate for further consideration.