Washington proposes stronger protections for GA airports

October 8, 2009

The Washington State Department of Commerce has proposed stronger protections for the state’s general aviation airports.

Strengthening state law to protect GA airports was one of the recommendations handed down in July as part of its Long-term Air Transportation Study (LATS) for maintaining and improving the state’s air transportation system. AOPA advocated for strong wording to ensure that compatible land uses are incorporated around GA airports and has submitted comments in support of the proposed language, which would prohibit incompatible land use around airports.

“AOPA has worked in coordination with the Washington State Department of Transportation aviation division and the Washington Pilots Association to promote compatible land use and comment on these proposed rules,” said AOPA Manager of Airport Policy John Collins. “We are pleased to see the state moving forward to ensure that general aviation airports are protected through compatible land-use planning.”

The Washington State Aviation Planning Council recommended strengthening the state’s Growth Management Act to protect GA airports as a result of its LATS. The Washington State Department of Commerce is responsible for the Growth Management Act and began revisions in 2007. A proposed section outlines land-use compatibility adjacent to GA airports and gives direction to local governments to implement the act with respect to airports.