OLYMPIA – The demand for aviation in Washington state is growing and will soon exceed the capacity of some highly utilized existing facilities. The Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission was created by the Legislature to recommend strategies for addressing the growing demand.
Community members are invited to learn more about the CACC and provide input through an online open house, which starts Sept. 20 and closes Oct. 3. The online open house will be available in both English and Spanish.
The CACC is considering environmental impacts, economic and technical criteria, and public feedback and opinion as it develops recommendations to improve Washington’s air transportation capacity. The input Washington residents share through the online open house will play an important role in the recommendations the CACC develops.
The CACC is studying both short-term and long-term strategies to address air passenger service, air cargo operations, and general aviation capacity needs. This is an opportunity for the state to consider how we could meet capacity limits as well as plan for the use of innovative technologies to imagine airports of the future within the state's aviation system. This could increase the use of sustainable aviation fuels, create clean energy and significantly reduce harmful emissions and noise from airplanes while providing additional commercial air service to more airports around the state.
About the Commercial Aviation Coordination Commission
The CACC was created by the Legislature in Substitute Senate Bill 5370 to ensure Washington can meet future commercial aviation demands. In December 2020, the CACC released its Phase I report (pdf 204 KB), which listed six preliminary airport sites with potential for expansion. The report also included a proposal to meet near-term aviation demand at two or more existing airports while the work to locate a new airport continues. The 2021 Legislature approved a proviso extension to the CACC’s work to Feb. 15, 2023.
The six preliminary airport sites are: Arlington Municipal Airport, Bremerton National Airport, Paine Field (Snohomish County), Sanderson Field Airport (Shelton), Tacoma Narrows Airport (Gig Harbor), and Ed Carlson Memorial Field (south Lewis County). These airports could meet some of the demand for air passenger service, air cargo operations and/or general aviation.
The Legislature directed three phases for CACC work: Phase I, develop a short list of six airports; Phase II, identify the top two airports; Phase III, choose a single preferred location by a 60-percent majority vote.
The CACC’s 15 voting and 11 nonvoting members include representatives from the aviation industry, the public, airport communities, freight industry, state and local agencies and elected officials. The Washington State Department of Transportation provides the CACC technical assistance and staff support from its Aviation Division.