After almost two years of deliberations, the Washington Aviation Planning Council has released its final statewide aviation recommendations.
The Aviation Planning Council was appointed by Gov. Chris Gregoire in July 2007 as part of the state’s Long-Term Air Transportation Study (LATS). The council’s mission was to determine how best to meet commercial and general aviation capacity needs; which regions of the state are in need of improvement; and recommendations regarding the placement of future commercial or general aviation facilities to meet the need for improved aviation planning in the region.
The council’s findings include: No immediate capacity constraint exists at any airport in Washington State today; future capacity constraints will exist within the time frame of this study (2030), primarily in the Puget Sound Region; Washington’s aviation system is threatened by encroachment from land uses that are incompatible with aviation operations, and existing land use laws are inadequate.
Recommendations include placing a priority on protecting and maximizing the efficiency of the airport system already in place before developing new airports. The council also determined that expanding airports – or building new ones – must be a “regional and market-driven decision.”
The entire report is available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/aviation/LATS.