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Washington’s New Commercial Aviation Task Force Prepares for Liftoff |  Washington


(The Center Square) – The search resumes for another major commercial airport in Washington state.

Applications are being accepted for appointment to the new Commercial Aviation Task Forcewho will be responsible for assessing the state’s long-term aviation and transportation needs and identifying a site for a new or expanded facility.

The working group should pick up where the former Commercial Aviation Coordination Commission left off. This committee was created by the state legislature in 2019, but ended on June 30 of this year without providing a recommended location for a future commercial airport that was acceptable to a majority of members or the general public.

The state’s largest commercial facility, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in King County, is expected to reach capacity in less than 30 years. The now disbanded Aviation Commission struggled to identify a location for an additional, new or expanded commercial facility that would be functional by 2040.

During this year’s legislative session, state lawmakers passed House Bill 1791, which Gov. Jay Inslee signed in mid-May after vetoing sections, including an emergency clause that would have enacted it immediately. The revised measure came into force on July 23. According to a legislative summary, it calls on the new task force to “investigate the expansion of existing aviation facilities and possible locations for new, unseen aviation facilities.”

Members must consider both new sites and previously identified sites, but cannot consider the expansion of a port or county operated airport into a county of two million or more – eliminating Sea-Tac airport as an option – or a location incompatible with operations. from a military base.

Other factors for the Aviation Task Force to consider in its site review include water quality impacts, state greenhouse gas emission goals, and local planning under the State Growth Management Act.

The task force will be comprised of 19 voting members appointed by the Governor to represent the airline industry or airline-dependent businesses, statewide business interests, commercial service airports, districts regional ports, environmental organizations, the trucking and freight industries, as well as eight citizen representatives. .

The task force is also to include 11 non-voting members representing the state Departments of Transportation (Aviation Division) and Commerce, the Washington State Aviation Alliance, the State Legislature, metropolitan planning agencies and regional airports.

Once established, the group must submit an annual progress report by July 1 to the governor and state transportation legislative committees.

“This task force will focus on the use of new technologies, environmental management and resilience in aviation,” said Ann Richart, director of aviation at the Washington State Department of Transportation. , in a press release. Press release Tuesday. “Its members will be instrumental in thinking about how aviation can help sustain viable communities in Washington, especially in the outstate.”

Individuals Interested in Appointment to the Aviation Working Group i can apply nowwith the examination of applications from 9 October. The requirements for the positions can be viewed on the Board of Governors and Committee Profiles Website under “Commercial Aviation Working Group”.

A new website for the Commercial Aviation Task Force allows people to sign up to receive updates. Those who signed up for old Aviation Commission emails have been added to the new working group. broadcast list.