Airport Committee Nearing the End, New Group Takes Over
After nearly four years, a committee tasked with looking for a site to build a third regional airport in Washington State will cease to exist in a few weeks.
The Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission (CACC) suggested three sites in Western Washington but faced challenges in getting people to jump on board.
"We had not had in person meetings, and to go out and look at a site to where maybe we should build an airport, we should have a field trip, right? We should go look at this. Well, we didn't do that, either. So those things didn't happen." 13th District Representative Tom Dent told the "Bottom Line" on Newsradio 610 KONA.
Dent says the suggested sites were not popular with neighbors.
"They had a town hall and there was something like over 24,000 emails that went into WSDOT in opposition. When I get high numbers of emails on something, I pay attention. That's my job to do that." Dent added.
The CACC was created to take the load off Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and the steady increase in visitors and passengers.
The legislature decided earlier this year with HB 1791 to replace the commission with a new work group called the Commercial Aviation Work Group.
“At the start of this year’s legislative session, Representative Tom Dent and I recognized the need to introduce this bill as it’s clear that opposition to the state’s proposed airport sites was loud and fierce,” The bill's sponsor, Representative Jake Fey said in a release.
Members of the new working group will include four representatives of commercial service airports and ports (two of which must be based in Eastern Washington), two representatives from the airlines industry or businesses dependent upon air service, one representative from a statewide business association, and seven citizens, with at least two representing Eastern Washington and two from Western Washington.
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