Port of Moses Lake Commissioner Stroud Kunkle and State Representative Tom Dent of Moses Lake are part of the decision making process in deciding the site of Washington’s next commercial aviation hub.
Dent and Kunkle sit on the state’s Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission (CACC). CACC’s next meeting is slated for Jan. 9, at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Sea-Tac. The commission will narrow down possible airport sites based on previous research as well as factors including airspace, local land use, environmental impacts, market demand and community input.
Grant County International Airport is a candidate in becoming Washington’s next commercial aviation airfield but Dent believes its chances of serving in that capacity are slim.
“It’s a long shot,” Dent told iFIBER ONE News on Friday. “Our area doesn’t have the people, but it doesn’t mean our airport can’t become a cargo hub.” Dent says Grant County has been discussed seveal times.
Deliberations during the meeting will also include a presentation about the ongoing Puget Sound Regional Council Aviation Baseline Study and discuss a sustainable vision for Washington’s aviation system, including ways to accommodate capacity at existing airports.
The CACC’s 15 voting and 11 nonvoting members include representatives from the aviation and freight industries, private citizens, state and local agencies and elected officials. The Washington State Department of Transportation provides the commission technical assistance and staff support from its Aviation Division.
The commission’s first meeting was Oct. 30, 2019, at the state Capitol Campus in Olympia and included discussion of the administrative process, goals of the group and previous aviation studies.
The Legislature created the CACC to determine how Washington can meet future commercial aviation demands. Final recommendations are due to the Legislature in January 2022.
Dent says he’s confident that a CACC meeting will take place in Moses Lake soon.
Meetings are open to the public but there is no public comment period.