Study of the Current and Ongoing Effects of the Operation of the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport


Stantec and Ricker-Cunningham
Prepared for the Washington State Department of Commerce
as authorized by ESSB 6032

The Washington State Legislature asked the Department of Commerce in March 2018 to implement the provisions of (Proviso) Section 127(63) of Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill (ESSB 6032) using the following language:
(a) $300,000 of the general fund—state appropriation for fiscal year 2019 and $300,000 of the general fund—local appropriation are provided solely for the department to contract with a consultant to study the current and ongoing impacts of the Seattle-Tacoma international airport. The general fund—state funding provided in this subsection serves as a state match and may not be spent unless $300,000 of local matching funds is transferred to the department.

(b) The final study scope shall be developed by the department, in consultation with organizations or entities including members of the legislature, the port of Seattle, and the cities listed in subsection (c)(i),

(c) The study scope must include, but not be limited to:
(i) The impacts that the current and ongoing airport operations have air traffic noise, public health, traffic, congestion, and parking in residential areas, effects on residential and nonresidential property values, and economic development opportunities, in the cities of SeaTac, Burien, Des Moines, Tukwila, Federal Way, Normandy Park;
(ii) The benefits to the same cities referenced in (c)(i) derived due to proximity to the airport, including wages and taxes from airport-related operations, property tax derived from commercial development directly tied to airport-related operations, and improved access to transit resulting from proximity to the airport; and
(iii) Options and recommendations for mitigating any negative impacts, or bolstering potential benefits identified through the analysis, including what role the state plays in addressing impacts and benefits.
(iv) The department must collect data and relevant information from various sources including the port of Seattle, listed cities and communities, regional planning agencies, and other studies.
(v) The study must be delivered to the legislature by December 1, 2019.”
The legislature since revised the delivery date of the study from Dec. 1, 2019 to June 1, 2020 via Engrossed House Bill (ESHB) 119

Section 129.
This study (the “2020 Study”) acknowledges the importance of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, not only to the Seattle region but to the state of Washington and should not be construed as “anti-airport” in any fashion.

The 2020 study was based on an objective and independent review and evaluation of existing data to assess the effects that airport operations have on the six cities referenced above – Burien, Des Moines, Federal Way, Normandy Park, the city of SeaTac, and Tukwila – an area that includes over 237,000 residents and covers over 61 square miles. The consultants gathered information from over 400 technical references and met with over 200 people while investigating eight general areas over a 22-year period (1997 through 2019),…