Yakima Hoping New Regional Airport Lands in the Valley
Could Yakima become a regional airport for the state of Washington? Yakima City officials are still hoping that's a possibility.
A NEW WORK GROUP MAY OR MAY NOT CHOOSE YAKIMA
This week Governor Jay Inslee signed Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1791 (ESHB 1791) which creates a new State Commercial Aviation Work Group and directs it to study the need for additional airport capacity in Washington. A press release from the city of Yakima says the bill "directs the work group to consider only existing airports for potential expansion to meet state and Puget Sound commercial air transportation needs."
CITY OFFICIALS HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH STATE OFFICIALS
That's why city officials say the Yakima Air Terminal/McAllister Field is ideal to handle the overflow at Seatac Airport.
In fact in January city officials sent a letter to the Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission making sure Yakima is on the list of airports being considered to help meet the needs of the state.
THE CITY HAS LOT OF ADVANTAGES FOR A REGIONAL AIRPORT
The letter sent to state officials lists benefits for Yakima as the site for a new regional airport location;
Ample land within a 5-mile radius of the airport for developing long-term parking, rental cars, hotels and other industrial/commercial uses
Completion of an environmental review for a planned new terminal at YKM
Yakima’s easy access to Interstate 82, Interstate 90 and commercial rail
YKM was previously identified by WSDOT as a beta test site for electric aviation
City officials say "the state considered 17 airports in Puget Sound and Moses Lake; only Paine Field was identified to have the potential to support up to 4.3 million annual passengers."
YAKIMA IS IN FAVOR OF EXPANSION OF THE LOCAL AIRPORT
“The Yakima airport has been refining a strategy to meet the air transportation needs,” says Yakima Airport Director Rob Hodgman. “Yakima continues to be the only community to volunteer to provide additional aviation capacity.”
The City of Yakima commissioned a poll in January to gauge community interest in airport expansion. That poll received 1,404 responses, with 83 percent strongly supporting expansion of YKM.
NOW THE CITY WAITS FOR THE GROUP TO MAKE A REPORT
The new work group is scheduled to make its first annual report by July 2024. “YKM is seeking an opportunity to convey the strategy that will help solve the looming 2032 airport capacity shortfall,” says Hodgman.
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