Regional Aviation Baseline Study

Discussion:

PSRC is leading a baseline study to provide a clear picture of the aviation activities and needs in the region and set the stage for future planning efforts.

Aviation plays a critical role for people and businesses in the growing central Puget Sound region, which is currently home to 29 airports of varied sizes and functions. Continued, coordinated planning is essential for ensuring that the regional airport system can support existing and future demand. As part of these efforts, the Puget Sound Regional Council has launched the Regional Aviation Baseline Study, funded by a $1.6 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Recent population, employment and income growth is driving regional aviation demand and this trend is expected to continue. The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is also a growing hub for connections to Asia. Globalization and e-commerce are international trends that are driving dramatic air cargo growth, which is also expected to continue.

2050 Forecasts for Aviation Demand

Regional demand for commercial and air cargo service is expected to double by 2050, with demand for general aviation activity forecast to increase by a third.

Future Landside and Airside System Constraints

Even with planned investments, Sea-Tac Airport will not be able to meet the region’s 2050 demand for passenger air service. Landside constraints are complicated by the region’s complex and constrained airspace. Drive times to Sea-Tac are projected to get substantially worse, limiting future access for most of the region’s residents.