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Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission online open house – Current study

The CACC believes that that no single solution can solve all of Washington’s air capacity needs.  We recognize that:

  • Solution(s) must be equitable for communities around Washington
  • Solutions may benefit from rapidly evolving technology
  • We don’t fully understand the longer-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on how people work and live
  • We must consider efforts to put solutions into place that minimize or eliminate negative environmental impacts
  • Air transportation is an essential part of our economy

Six shortlisted sites

In January 2021, the CACC released a preliminary list of six airport sites with potential to meet some of the demand for passenger service, air cargo or general aviation. Those locations, with some details about each, are listed below.

Arlington Municipal Airport

Arlington Municipal Airport is a general aviation airport located in northern Snohomish County that is served by one 5,332-foot by 100-foot runway.

Arlington Municipal Airport
Credit: City of Arlington

How it could meet demand

Arlington Municipal Airport could help address demand for general aviation. There is significant development on both ends of the existing runway, so it’s unlikely that the runway could be extended to more than 6,500 feet. That length would not be long enough to support large passenger service or air cargo planes. The airport sponsor, the City of Arlington, is focused on general aviation service.

Bremerton National Airport

Bremerton National is the largest airport on the Kitsap peninsula and provides general aviation service. It has a 6,000-foot by 150-foot runway.

Bremerton National Airport
Credit: Port of Bremerton

How it could meet demand

Bremerton National Airport could provide additional general aviation aircraft storage capacity and expand business aviation support. Commission members indicated an interest in providing air cargo capacity at Bremerton, but industry partners currently do not share the same perspective because of the airport’s distance from dense population centers. Tacoma, the closest population center, is 32 miles away and approximately a 45-minute travel time.

Ed Carlson Memorial Field (South Lewis County Airport)

Located in Toledo, Ed Carlson Memorial Field provides general aviation service on one 4,479-foot by 150-foot runway.

Ed Carlson Memorial Field
Credit: Jared Wenzelburger/The Chronicle

How it could meet demand

Like Bremerton National, Ed Carlson Memorial Field’s distance from population centers mean it is unlikely to support air cargo or passenger service. Toledo is 47 miles to the nearest population center, Olympia, and nearly halfway between Sea-Tac and Portland airports. The airport could expand general aviation aircraft storage capacity. This may serve a limited number of general aviation pilots because of the airport’s distance from population centers. The airport sponsor, Lewis County, is focused on general aviation service.

Paine Field (Snohomish County Airport)

Paine Field provides passenger and general aviation service from one 9,010-foot by 150-foot runway. Paine Field began offering passenger service in March 2019, connecting to destinations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Arizona, and Colorado.

Paine Field is currently updating its master plan – you can learn more about that process on the airport’s master plan website.

Paine Field
Credit: KOMO Photo

How it could meet demand

Paine Field has potential to support air cargo and additional passenger service. Paine Field is currently limited by infrastructure constraints to the number of passengers per day. Air cargo industry partners have indicated that Paine Field is a possibility for air cargo service, and FedEx has indicated intentions to begin operations there. With passenger service already provided, it is likely that airlines could support additional service and associated cargo flown in the belly of passenger aircraft.

Sanderson Field Airport (Shelton)

Sanderson Field is located in Mason County and serves general aviation on a 5,005-foot by 100-foot runway.

Sanderson Field Airport
Credit: Sanderson Field

How it could meet demand

Sanderson Field Airport is unlikely to support passenger or air cargo service because of its distance from population centers. Shelton is 25 miles from Olympia, the closest population center. The airport could support additional general aviation aircraft storage. The Port of Shelton owns sufficient land to develop significant general aviation aircraft storage. This may serve a limited number of general aviation pilots because of the airport’s distance from population centers.

Tacoma Narrows Airport (Gig Harbor)

Located in Pierce County, four miles west of Tacoma, Tacoma Narrows Airport serves general aviation from a 5,002-foot by 100-foot runway. Pierce County is currently making improvements to the airport, as outlined in its 2015 master plan.

Tacoma Narrows Airport
Credit: Pierce County

How it could meet demand

Tacoma Narrows is unlikely to support passenger or air cargo service because of its runway length. Tacoma Narrows is nine miles from Tacoma and I-5, but requires crossing the Narrows Bridge for many airport users.  There is substantial residential development around the airport that would limit expansion. The airport’s current runway length of just over 5,000 feet is too short for large passenger and air cargo planes, but is the preferred length for business aviation. The airport could absorb some general aviation aircraft from other airports. The airport sponsor, Pierce County, is focused on general aviation service.