Public testimony being heard on new airport proposal in Pierce or Thurston Counties

The group in charge of choosing the location for a new airport for Puget Sound hosted what very well could be its last public meeting on Thursday. 

The chair of the commission tasked with finding a new airport says they’re pushing ahead, but in reality, there’s a bill moving through the legislature that would dismantle the group altogether.

"Until this legislation is passed by both Houses and enacted into law by the Governor's signature, the existing authority and law that dictates the work of this commission will continue," said Warren Hendrickson, the acting chair of the Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission. 

With the Sea-Tac Airport about maxed out on available capacity, state leaders believe a new airport is needed to keep up with our region’s growing demand for new passenger and cargo flights.

But so far, every location brought up has received pushback from both residents and local government.

"We’re going to lose our homes for very little money and not knowing what is happening is really very stressful on a lot of people.," said Carol Green, who lives near a proposed site. "I think something has to be decided because people really are concerned, and it’s stressful for all of us."

Speaking via Zoom, people who could possibly be impacted by the new airport spent nearly 30 minutes explaining why the proposed sites were harmful. 

While the commission may soon dissolve, one person noted how stressful the uncertainty of the situation was. 

"What I don’t want is to see another three years of uncertainty going on if it’s going to end up here anyway," said Joe Zaichkin. "So, either let us know that it’s going to be here or let us know it’s not going to be here." 

The commission said it hopes to have details to the legislature by June 15, so it can continue its work. 


New bill may squash proposed Pierce County airport plans

The Washington legislature greenlit a commission to site a new airport, and now, there's a legislative push to kill the group and start over.