Senate votes to create additional commercial airport capacity

OLYMPIA –

“The opening of the new two-gate passenger terminal at Everett’s Paine Field is a welcome relief, but it will not solve the long-term need to find additional commercial airport capacity in our state” said Senator Karen Keiser (D-Des Moines), sponsor of Senate Bill 5470 which passed the Senate by a vote of 45-1. 

“If you’ve flown in or out of Sea-Tac recently you know we already face flight delays, gate limitations, and terminal congestion as everyday events,” said Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Des Moines), sponsor of Senate Bill 5370.  The legislation establishes an airport commission to identify up to six possible sites for future commercial aviation in our state with the direction to narrow the search for either new or expanded airport facilites with a two-year process.  The commission must also develop a timeline for developing an additional commercial aviation facility that will be functional by 2040. 

“Sea-Tac is the fastest growing airport in the nation in passengers, and air cargo volume has more than doubled in the last decade.  It is also the smallest international airport in the nation, with only half the space of many other major airports,” Keiser said. “Moreover, there’s no more room to grow because I-5, Highway 99, Highway 509 and Highway 599 surround SeaTac’s perimeter. Another airport—whether it is brand new or a build-out of existing facilities — makes sense for our state, our economy and our citizens. ”

SB 5370 was supported by the Washington Ports Association and the Port of Seattle Commissioners, as well as the airport-impacted cities of Burien, SeaTac and DesMoines. 

Having passed off the Senate floor, SB 5370 now heads to the House for further consideration.

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For information:    Bre Weider, Senate Democratic Communications, 360-786-7326