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Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission online open house – Greenfield sites under study

WSDOT is currently working with a technical consultant to update the Washington Aviation System Plan. This plan is intended to study the performance and interaction of Washington’s entire aviation system. As part of that work, the consultant team generated a list of potential greenfield sites – an undeveloped site on which a new airport could be constructed. The sites are all located within 100 miles of the Seattle population center and west of the Cascade Mountains.

The system plan consultant is currently analyzing 10 representative locations, meaning they are looking at somewhat broad geographic areas rather than specific sites. For the preliminary evaluation of each site, the team is evaluating eight essential factors:

  • Terrain impact: Is the site too hilly to develop?
  • Property acquisition: How much property needs to be purchased?
  • Environmental justice: Would this location disproportionately impact people who are BIPOC, people with low incomes, or people who use languages other than English?
  • Floodplain impact: Is the site likely to flood in heavy rain events?
  • Wetland impact: Would development impact wetlands?
  • Incompatible land use: Are there land uses such as residences, schools, or places of worship nearby?
  • Population served: How many people are within a 90-minute drive?
  • Unaccommodated passenger demand: How many people who are beyond a 90-minute drive from Sea-Tac or Paine Field could be served by this location?

Greenfield sites being studied

Map of Greenfield sites being studied

Skagit County Northwest

This area generally has enough land that is flat enough for an airport but would be a challenge to develop without significant flood concerns. Its location is further than a 90-minute drive for most population centers.

Skagit County Northwest table
Map of Skagit County northwest greenfield site

Should the state consider Skagit County Northwest as a location to site a new airport? Select one

Please provide any explanation you wish to share

Skagit County Southwest

This area generally has enough land that is flat enough for an airport but would be a challenge to develop without significant flood concerns. It scored moderate for population within a 90-minute drive. It would impact large numbers of people of color.

Skagit County Southwest table
Map of Skagit County southwest greenfield site

Should the state consider Skagit County Southwest as a location to site a new airport? Select one

Please provide any explanation you wish to share

Snohomish County Northwest

This area presents challenges in terms of land that is flat enough for an airport but is less of a concern for flooding. It ranked moderate-high for population within a 90-minute drive. It would impact large numbers of people of color.

Snohomish County Northwest table
Snohomish County northwest greenfield site

Should the state consider Snohomish County Northwest as a location to site a new airport? Select one

Please provide any explanation you wish to share

Snohomish County Southeast

This area presents challenges in terms of land that is flat enough for an airport and is close to incompatible land uses. There is a large number of people within a 90-minute drive. It has less concern about flooding and would impact limited numbers of people who have limited English proficiency.

Snohomish County Southeast table
Snohomish County southeast greenfield site

Should the state consider Snohomish County Southeast as a location to site a new airport? Select one

Please provide any explanation you wish to share

East King County

Per the legislation that formed the Commission, the CACC is prohibited from making recommendations within King County. The CACC is not studying airports or greenfield sites in King County. However, the work of the system plan consultant is statewide. As the system plan consultant is analyzing a potential greenfield location in East King County, we have included that information here.

This features the greatest number of people within a 90-minute drive. It has a moderate concern of flooding and a moderate amount of surrounding land includes incompatible uses.

King County East table
East King County greenfield site

Should the state consider East King County as a location to site a new airport? Select one

Please provide any explanation you wish to share

Pierce County East

This would serve a large number of people within a 90-minute drive and the land is generally flat enough for airport development. There would be concern of flooding, a moderate amount of surrounding land includes incompatible uses, and a significant percentage of the nearby population are people of color.

Pierce County East table
Pierce County east greenfield site

Should the state consider Pierce County East as a location to site a new airport? Select one

Please provide any explanation you wish to share

Pierce County Central

This would serve a large number of people within a 90-minute drive and the land is generally flat enough for airport development. A moderate amount of surrounding land includes incompatible uses, and there is a concern of flooding.

Pierce County Central table
Pierce County central greenfield site

Should the state consider Pierce County Central as a location to site a new airport? Select one

Please provide any explanation you wish to share

Thurston County Central

The land in this area is generally flat enough for airport development and flooding is not a concern. There would be a moderate amount of impact to wetlands, and a moderate number of people within a 90-minute drive would be served.

Thurston County Central table
Thurston County central greenfield site

Should the state consider Thurston County Central as a location to site a new airport? Select one

Please provide any explanation you wish to share

Thurston County South

The land in this area is moderately flat enough for airport development. There would be a large amount of wetlands impacted and it would serve a low number of people within a 90-minute drive. There are few incompatible land uses nearby and it would require few parcels to be purchased.

Thurston County South table
Thurston County south greenfield site

Should the state consider Thurston County South as a location to site a new airport? Select one

Please provide any explanation you wish to share

Lewis County

The land in this area is generally flat enough for airport development and would require few parcels to be purchased. It would impact a large amount of wetlands and there is a moderate amount of incompatible land use nearby. It would serve a low number of people within a 90-minute drive.

Lewis County table
Lewis County south greenfield site

Should the state consider Lewis County as a location to site a new airport? Select one

Please provide any explanation you wish to share

In the coming months, the System Plan consultant will continue to study these sites in relation to additional criteria and begin eliminating some of the sites from the list of viable options. Public input provided through this open house will also help inform which sites continue on for further study.

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