Merry Christmas and rest for the airport-fatigued
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The holiday lights and decorations can only bring joyful expressions to the faces of our children and adults, too. December is a month for those whose gift is sharing and find joy in helping those less fortunate…and for those who are struggling; they, too, can find joy in the gift of receiving. December is a time to gather, break bread and remember what the season is about.
I also wanted to take a moment to share that your locally elected representatives are not idle in addressing the current recommended greenfield airport sites made by the Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission (CACC). Your state representatives are working on legislation, along with your local representatives, to basically back up and re-group concerning the instructions to the CACC. Listen to the presentation from Reps Wilcox and Barkis: I am opposed to a new airport in rural Pierce or Thurston County (govdelivery.com).
The legislation that formed the CACC and instructed them to explore possibilities for expanding our state’s aviation capacity, SSB 5370, and make final recommendations, was clear. Research for each potential site must include the feasibility of constructing a commercial aviation facility in the location and its potential environmental, community and economic impacts. I don’t see reports prepared with any such information. Perhaps the expectation for those reports was for them to be prepared after the final recommendation.
The letters from the County Council, the Nisqually Tribe and the Puyallup Tribe articulate quite well the environmental, community and economic impacts of an airport in our county, not to mention letters of opposition from local watershed organizations, PTAs, etc.
In addition, the legislation is clear that no recommendation may be in the vicinity of a military installation that would be incompatible with its mission. I spoke to our Lt. Governor Denny Heck. He was very adamant that sharing commercial airport or cargo capacity with JBLM is not an option. Hearing from other pilots, their position was the same…that any Pierce County location would/could be incompatible.
I share this as encouragement for you to focus on what matters…your families, friends and even strangers. Relax and enjoy your holidays. We are far, far away from an airport siting decision.
Please don’t lose any sleep but do stay informed. There is a community meeting scheduled for January 13 at Graham-Kapowsin High School, 7 pm – 9 pm, hosted by The Coalition Against Graham and Eatonville-Roy Airports. Their website is https://fb.me/e/2smVF42cB.
I will be in attendance to hear from you and share any updates I may have. Also, while listening to a CACC presentation in Orting, I heard the presenter mention that their next meeting should be the first week of March, as opposed to a meeting in February.
Wishing you the merriest of Christmases and the most joyous holiday season of the year!