Stop Olympia Airport Growth

To the Port of Olympia


Explanation of issue:

Efforts to expand the Olympia Airport have remained under the radar due to the attention being paid to a possible new mega airport in Thurston County. But plans are being made right now and may be adopted VERY soon to greatly expand Olympia Airport air traffic in the future. The Port of Olympia is proposing an Airport Master Plan Update, despite little public input, to vastly increase air traffic by reconfiguring the Olympia Airport.  Now is the time to say NO.

Some of the concerns that citizens have raised are listed below.

No one needs to agree with all the objections listed (or any of them), we just need to agree that we don't want a noisier airport with many more flights destroying Thurston County's quality of life.  

It doesn't matter that these changes are planned for the future, that the Port states the airport's footprint won't be expanded and that there will not be an immediate increase in the air traffic.  What does matter to various citizens:

1)  Pollution -- noise and air -- will be increased. Water sources will be endangered.

2) Many negative health impacts will follow, per multiple studies.

3)  Property values will plummet.

(4) If plans for development to accommodate commercial flights at the Olympia airport are accepted, then we will have no local control over the numbers of commercial flights or the hours of operation. The FAA can demand that we increase the footprint of our airport to accommodate even more traffic. This would further disturb crowded neighborhoods and schools, and further encroach on neighbors' properties, conservation lands, Millersylvania State Park's peace, etc.

5) What we face now is a climate crisis that needs fewer airplanes flying, not more. Accommodation of commercial passenger and cargo operations at the Olympia Airport would seriously undermine the recently adopted Thurston Climate Mitigation Plan.

6) There will be a domino effect from more commercial flights bringing in more cargo, causing more low-wage warehouses to be built and more carbon-sequestering trees to be cut.

7) There has been no serious environmental study of the airport since 1994. The Airport Master Plan Update (MPU) must include a complete Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). An EIS would clarify the economic, environmental, health, and vehicle traffic impacts.

8)  Olympia Airport lands provide prime habitat for several endangered species; other lands for these species are scarce or nonexistent. Protecting these species and the migratory birds that pass over and near the airport is protecting our ecosystem. Our densely populated neighborhoods and schools to the north, our parks (including Millersylvania, just 3 miles from the airport), farms, and wildlife sites need to be protected.

9) Unproven technologies - The Port claims that there will be new, quiet planes and non-polluting fuels. But scientists say there are many obstacles to widespread adoption of planes fueled by electricity, hydrogen or biofuels. The Airport Master Plan Update, once approved, will lock in all the steps to permit commercial air traffic. This is our best chance to say NO.

10) Multinational corporations and private airport users would benefit from drastically increased numbers of aircraft here. BUT that would come at the expense of quality of life for many more Thurston County residents.

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To: To the Port of Olympia
From: [Your Name]


To: Port of Olympia Commissioners:

I am a resident of Thurston County. I oppose any plan to expand air traffic at the Olympia Regional Airport. Please protect our county's quality of life by voting against any such plan.

Thank you.