Alliance Supports HB 1455, HB 1456, HB 1457

SHB 1455

AN ACT Relating to aviation workforce development

Sponsor: Rep Tom Dent

-Addresses a severe shortage of workers in the aeronautics industry by increasing the training and employment of commercial pilots, airline transport pilots, avionics technicians, aircraft maintenance technicians and certified flight instructors. Establishes an education loan program with 100% private sector investment funding required. Incentivizes students to remain in their field in Washington State by providing up to 60% in loan forgiveness.  

HB 1456

AN ACT Relating to a community aviation revitalization loan program

Sponsor: Rep Tom Dent

- Addresses an airport’s ability to plan and construct revenue generating infrastructure that is not typically available under federal and state airport improvement program grants. Requires the Transportation Department to convene a community aviation revitalization board to exercise the powers granted under the bill. The overall goal is to improve rural economic development while making airports more financially self- sustainable. $5 million in initial funding was provided to WSDOT through the Capital Budget to fund this program. 


HB 1457

AN ACT Relating to Aircraft Fuel Tax Distribution

Sponsor: Rep Tom Dent

- Reallocates 1.0% of the 6.5% charged in aviation fuel sales taxes from the general fund to the aeronautics account to benefit rural economic development through airport improvements (existing grant program), loans for aviation education (HB 1455) and air cargo development. Provides ~$5.2M annually to help close the $8.4M airport infrastructure funding gap.  


Washington Aviation Specialty License Plate



OLYMPIA – Now available: Aviation enthusiasts can order the first ever Washington Aviation Specialty License Plate. 

The Aviation License Plate is available to purchase (as of July 2017) through the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL). 

Purchases may be made online by visiting the Washington State Department of Licensing  or by visiting your local vehicle licensing office. 

Please read the FAQ’s below for more information regarding Washington Aviation License Plate purchases:

Aviation License Plate: Frequently Asked Questions:

How much will it cost to purchase a plate? 
Initial cost: $40 for the actual plate + annual tab fees and other specialty license plate production fees. 

Renewals: $30 for the renewal of the plate + annual tab fees and other specialty license plate production fees. 

You can find out the total cost by contacting your local vehicle licensing office. 

What does the money from this plate purchase support? 
$28 from each plate purchase will support aviation-specific initiatives such as:  

  • Airport infrastructure improvements to support statewide disaster response and recovery operations (examples: wildland fires, earthquake, landslide response).

  • Economic development opportunities to enhance public access to airports, such as informational kiosks.

  • Statewide aviation infrastructure-related awareness programs that promote public participation at airports.

I just renewed my tabs; can I still purchase the Washington Aviation Specialty License Plate? 
Yes, typically, you should be able to transfer your registration to the new plate and be charged only for the special plate and processing costs ($72.75). 

It is always a good idea to check with your local vehicle licensing office to make sure there aren’t any individual/local circumstances that would change this process. 

Can I buy an aviation plate as a gift for someone else? 
No, not unless you and the recipient are both registered owners of the vehicle. WSDOT Aviation will offer a Gift Envelope, which can be downloaded, printed and folded to hold enough money for your loved one to be able to purchase a specialty license plate. See the DOL's website for more information regarding the cost of a Washington Aviation License Plate, or contact your local vehicle licensing office. 

Can I personalize my plate? 
Yes, for an additional fee, you can use up to seven characters for a personalized plate. Visit DOL's website to learn more about personalized plates and to see which character combinations are available. 

Does any money from the personalization fee support aviation? 
No, the personalization fee goes toward Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife conservation programs. 

Thank you for supporting the Washington Aviation License Plate series.  

If you have any questions regarding the Washington Aviation License Plate, please contact Christina Crea, WSDOT Aviation Communications. 

Washington State Aviation Alliance to host Aviation Awareness Day

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Aviation Alliance will host the annual Aviation Awareness Day at the John A Cherberg Building on the Capitol campus on January 22. Several legislators, legislative staff members and committee staff will attend. Aviation Awareness Day has proven to be an effective event at which to educate attendees about the important contributions our state’s airports make to our quality of life and economy.

Governor announces June as “General Aviation Appreciation Month”

DATED: JUNE 2, 2018

OLYMPIA – Aviation enthusiasts in Washington state have reason to celebrate as Gov. Jay Inslee has signed a proclamation and named June as General Aviation Appreciation Month.

The proclamation recognizes general aviation’s importance to our state. Aviation plays a critical role in the lives of Washingtonians, as well as the operation of businesses, industry, ranches and farms – and is vital to the state’s economy, and transportation system.

June signifies the start of summer with typical great flying weather, and WSDOT Aviation encourages pilots to get out and experience all that our state’s airports have to offer.

Washington is home to a diverse aviation system, with 135 public-use airports ranging in size and purpose. The proclamation highlights how general aviation, aerospace, aircraft manufacturing and other aviation activities contribute to Washington’s economic health and vitality.

More details about the aviation economic statistics cited in the governor’s proclamation are available in the 2012 Washington Aviation Economic Impact Study, completed by the WSDOT Aviation Division.

WSAA conducts 3rd annual full membership meeting

DATED: APRIL 26, 2018

Annual Membership Meeting
April 26, 2018 
9:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Hyatt Regency, Renton, WA



1.               Welcome                                                                          

David Ketchum: David welcomed the members and conducted introductions around the room

2.               Roll Call of Attendees                                                                         

Warren Hendrickson: Warren assisted with taking attendance of board members and insuring that a quorum was present for voting purposes 

3.               History and Purpose of WSAA                                                                              

Warren Hendrickson: Warren spoke about the history of the alliance and legislative successes and failures. Warren focused on the fact that successes came from a cohesive effort among alliance members with the backing of legislators.

4.               Eagle One Air                                                                                          

Tristan Atkins: John Dobson introduced Tristan Atkins for an explanation of Eagle One Air. Tristan provided an explanation of Eagle One Air. Eagle One Air is looking at servicing 4 counties initially in the Puget Sound. Initial program will include the use of Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles (UAVs). Eagle One Air was voted into the Alliance as a non-voting member.  

5.               Board Member Reports                                                                                          

Board Members: David Ketchum, John Dobson, Kandace Harvey, David Fleckenstein, Chris Herman, and David Ryan. Each board member provided an update. David Ketchum spoke on the behalf of Kandace who was not in attendance.

6.               Legislative Report                                                           

Chris Herman: There was some discussion regarding the bills introduced in the last legislative session by Chris Herman. Chris highlighted the need to discuss legislative items with the Gov’s office.   

 The board took a break from 10:30-10:45. 

7.               Member Objectives and Status Reports                                                                            

Warren Hendrickson: WAMA spoke about the need to have time to discuss issues among their own organization when the alliance is looking for a position on a particular subject. Have we looked at expanding the membership beyond aviation specific entities? Tourism, chambers of commerce…etc. are a consideration. Warren and David K. indicated the by-laws support bringing additional groups into the alliance. Alan Burnett made the suggestion of having ad hoc committees to address aviation issues. The group also discussed looking at ways to change aviation awareness day.  Tim Mensonides brought up the issue of individual airports being alliance members while they are already represented by WAMA. David K. (WSCAA) spoke about the importance of the revolving loan program. George Sneed (WPA) spoke about the disaster airlift response teams (DART) and the involvement of WPA in protecting airports from incompatible uses. George asked for state assistance in communicating the DART program to the counties. Chris Herman spoke on behalf of WPPA. Chris highlighted the need for infrastructure investments and access to funds, airports seeking commercial service, and land use issues. Dave Whitelaw from recreational aviation foundation. Dave would like to reopen up Rogersburg Airport. Dave is also looking for help in opening up Cypress Island Airstrip and establishing additional camping locations at airports. Alan Burnett, Pacific Northwest Business Aviation Association spoke about the need for aircraft repair facilities and the importance of getting to know legislators. Consider to receive newsletters. Stephen Ratzlaff, Washington Seaplane Pilots Association, is looking for assistance in establishing additional seaplane bases. There is a complex issue with invasive species seaplanes. There are concerns over limiting or eliminating seaplane bases to stop the spread of invasive species. Jamelle Garcia from Washington Aviation Association spoke about sponsoring the NW Aviation Trade Show and the groups that they represent. The goal of the trade show is to bring people together. Recommends removing obstacles for aviation businesses at airports.

At 12 pm, the group broke for lunch.

During lunch, the group received a briefing on the hotel development where the meeting was held.

Warren Hendrickson picked up after lunch speaking for the AOPA. Warren spoke about ATC privatization and the efforts behind it. He spoke about his responsibilities. He spoke about FBO pricing and concerns over FBO costs. Seattle ADO has been a challenge for the airports in Washington. Kristi Ivey spoke for National Business Aviation Association and the companies they represent within aviation. Some of their main focus has been combating the efforts towards ATC privatization, workforce development, their ability to speak for aviation related companies, and their involvement in legislative issues. Ben Sclair, GA News, spoke about the communication issues or challenges at different levels. Ben stated that he is “open to just about anything” when it comes to aviation news. David Ryan from Arlington spoke about their interest in the loan program. Warren spoke for Harvey Field. CWU was not in attendance. John Marc Swedburg from Big Bend Community College spoke about producing a large number of pilots but doing it in a way that the pilots remain viable for the airlines into the future. Stephen Ratzlaff asked for assistance in keeping better attuned to issues that come out of Olympia.          

8.               Strategic Plan Priorities and Strategy                                                                            

Chris Herman/John Dobson: Chris and John spoke about HR 2754 being the priority.  Chris spoke about broadening the base of support.  Senator Cleveland and Representative Gregerson were mentioned.  Chris spoke about changes in the house and senate and the need to educate new members. Chris’ recommendation for the Airport Revitalization Board Loan Program is to sit down with the Gov’s office first. Chris was not concerned about going after more than one legislative item.  There is a need to get an updated aviation caucus list. It might be a good idea to produce a portion of the Best Management Practices in advance of the publication to address priorities.  David K. endorsed the idea of getting the BMP out as soon as possible in order to benefit the users. Establishing sustainable facilities through the development of their non-aeronautical use and the pillars of economic, operational, community and environmental sustainability.  The group spoke about land use issues.  David K recommended working with the key planning groups or companies that specialize in the comprehensive plans. Questions remained over how interested groups are notified when comprehensive plans are under review. The discussion turned back to establishing and maintaining communications between members of the alliance and interested parties as well as legislators. WSDOT will begin pushing more information out through the use of their communicator, Christina Crea.     


9.               Review and Provide Input for the 2018-19 Project and Task List         

John Dobson: John covered the project and task list as part of the priorities and strategy discussion.


10.           WSAA Election of 2018-2019 Officers & Board Members                 

David Fleck/Warren H.: Warren spoke about three recommended changes to the by-laws. A vote was taken and all of the recommended changes were approved.  David K spoke about Greg Becken as a candidate for Kandace Harvey as she has requested to step down and find a replacement.  All recommended candidates were elected….We need to add Eagle Air One to the umbrella list.   

11.          General Discussion                                                                           

David Ketchum: Schedule next meeting: Recommend a date prior to the first caucus meeting or Airport Awareness Day. The next board meeting was tentatively set for January 16 from 1:00 to 2:30 pm.

12.           Adjourn                                                                             

David Ketchum: David Ketchum called for a motion to adjourn the meeting. John Dobson moved to approve the motion and Chris Herman seconded the motion. The motion passed, Ketchum adjourned the meeting.

WSAA sends letter to our Washington State Legislative Delegation opposing any attempt by Congress to privatize our nation's air traffic control system

July 21, 2017

Dear Washington State Legislative Delegation;

As the President of the Washington State Aviation Alliance (WSAA), I am offering this letter to request that you oppose any attempt by Congress to privatize our nation’s air traffic control system and fund it with user fees.

WSAA represents the state’s key aviation organizations with almost 12,000 members. Organizations represented include the following:

  • Washington Airport Management Association
  • Washington State Community Airports Association
  • Washington Pilots Association
  • Recreational Aviation Foundation
  • Washington Aviation Association
  • Washington Seaplane Pilots Association
  • Pacific Northwest Business Aviation Association
  • Washington Public Ports Association

Our position opposing ATC privatization/user fees is supported by all WSAA members, as it is the Alliance’s policy to only support or oppose legislation when there is full concurrence from all voting members.

Federal legislation is under consideration that could fundamentally change how our air traffic control system is managed and funded. This proposal calls for turning over funding and governance authority to a board with disproportionate representation from the airlines and with the potential to raise fees, determine when companies using business aviation can fly, and cut routes to small towns and rural areas, while not alleviating delays.

We have already seen the negative effects from similarly privatized systems in several other countries. These entities receive funding through user fees, which in turn require a new bureaucracy of billing agents, collectors and auditors that impose administrative burdens on those required to pay the fees. Simply put, our country does not need a cumbersome bureaucracy to collect these onerous fees.

General aviation in the U.S. contributes to the aviation system through fuel taxes that are easily collected and efficiently administered, and should continue to do so. The general aviation community is committed to the concept that future funding and subsequent design of the national air transportation system should benefit all Americans. General aviation supports more than a million jobs and generates more than $200 billion in economic activity each year.

Our country is faced with a pilot shortage. We must refuse to take any action that might stifle the creation of new pilots, and this privatization proposal is representative of such an action. General aviation is a primary contributor for fostering new pilots. User fees will only increase the financial burdens placed on individuals desiring to become pilots.

In a privatized system, we risk altering one of the safest air traffic control systems in the world, which jeopardizes the safety of our pilots and passengers. Further, the Department of Defense recently said that creating a separate air traffic organization “raises serious concerns” in terms of our nation’s security.

Access to airports, and to the nation's airspace, creates jobs, generates economic activity, and helps make America's aviation system work for all Americans. Congressional oversight of the nation’s aviation system ensures that the public interest – including the people and companies that rely on aviation in small towns and communities – is served. Privatizing our air traffic control system could jeopardize these jobs and economic activity by threatening general aviation access to airports and airspace.

WSAA joins other aviation organizations, such as the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, National Association of State Aviation Officials and National Business Aviation Association, in asking you to protect the public interest by saying no to privatizing our air traffic control system and funding it with user fees.

Thank you for your attention. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

David Ketchum
Washington State Aviation Alliance (WSAA)

Snohomish County adopts ordinance discouraging incompatible development near airports

DATED: JUNE 9, 2015

Snohomish County adopts ordinance discouraging incompatible development near airports

Snohomish County celebrated a victory for aviation on May 6, when the County Council adopted Amended Ordinance No. 15-025, establishing new regulations for airports and land use compatibility. 

Particularly the ordinance protects airports and surrounding communities from incompatible development in the following ways:

  • Establishes a new chapter in the county’s development code, Chapter 30.32E Airport Compatibility.
  • Identifies an airport influence area and establishes disclosure notice on title for new development activities within that area.
  • Identifies an airport compatibility area where special review requirements apply.
  • Establishes a height review process that utilizes the FAA’s Form 7460 review within the airport compatibility area.
  • Establishes a special compatibility review process for 11 types of land uses and three types of residential development within that airport compatibility area.
  • Includes the opportunity for airport managers to provide input at various stages of development review within the airport compatibility area.
  • Encourages applicants to refer to FAA and WSDOT guidance related to airport compatibility.

“Incompatible development is a serious challenge to both airport and airport neighbors,” said Washington State Aviation Alliance President Kandace Harvey. “We couldn’t be more thrilled that the Snohomish County Council has taken these steps to strengthen airports and land use compatibility regulations.”
Organizations that contributed to the development of this ordinance include:

  • Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
  • Arlington Municipal Airport
  • City of Arlington, Planning Staff
  • City of Monroe, Planning Staff
  • Darrington Municipal Airport
  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • First Air Field
  • Harvey Field
  • Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties
  • Monroe Chamber of Commerce
  • Mukilteo Chamber of Commerce
  • Mukilteo School District
  • Paine Field
  • Paine Field Community Council
  • Port of Everett
  • Professional Consultants of Snohomish County
  • Puget Sound Regional Council
  • Sky Harbor Airport
  • Sky Harbor Chamber of Commerce
  • Snohomish Chamber of Commerce
  • Snohomish County Planning Advisory Committee
  • Stillaguamish Tribe
  • Tulalip Tribe
  • Washington Airport Management Association
  • Washington Community Airports Association
  • Washington Pilots Association
  • WSDOT Aviation Division


WSAA forms to support state aviation

DATED: MAY 16, 2015

WSAA forms to support state aviation

Recognizing the importance of the general aviation industry to Washington’s economy, and recognizing that the industry is currently facing serious challenges in this period of budget pressures, a steering committee met in August 2014 to form a non-profit organization that would serve as a collective voice for aviation and airport-related organizations to protect and promote aviation in the state of Washington. 

Formed by representatives from public and private organizations – including the Washington State Department of Transportation Aviation Division, the Washington Airport Management Association, the Washington State Community Airports Association, the Washington Pilots Association and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association – the committee shaped the foundations of the Washington State Aviation Alliance.

In January 2015, the steering committee elected a board of directors:

Kandace Harvey (WAMA) – President
Les Smith (WPA) – Vice President
David Ketchum (WSCAA) -Treasurer
Tristan Atkins (WSDOT) – Secretary

For more details on the background of WSAA and its objectives to be accomplished before October 2015, click here