An airport investment study, once in the legislative arena, is now a proposed agency-initiated study. The Washington State Department of Transportation will spearhead the study to evaluate the need for preservation and safety projects at the state’s 136 public-use airports.
Tristan Atkins, WSDOT’s aviation director, says that the shift from a legislative-directed study to an agency effort is more appealing to WSDOT’s diverse aviation and aerospace partners.
“It’s important that we bring all stakeholders to the table to take a closer look at potential funding options for Washington’s diverse public-use airports,” said Atkins.
WSDOT will invite representatives from commercial and general aviation; airport associations and organizations; airport sponsors; federal, state, and local agencies; and the airline, aerospace, emergency medical air transport and aerial agricultural industries to participate in the airport investment study. The study’s findings will be used to develop airport investment funding proposals for future legislative sessions.
The study also will:
- Evaluate current funding levels for airport preservation and safety projects
- Assess short-term and long-term airport improvement needs
- Determine consequences of doing nothing in terms of economic and aviation system impacts
- Discuss funding options to address airport investment needs
“At the end of the day,” Atkins added, “this study should tell us what projects are needed at our state’s airports, determine how much they will cost and identify some practical ways to fund them.”
The airport investment study will kick off this spring with stakeholder meetings and conclude with the publication of a comprehensive report in time for the 2014 legislative session.