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Airport commissions to discuss technology and economic impact

The public is invited to a joint meeting of the two advisory commissions that represent the Pierce County-owned airports near Puyallup and Gig Harbor.

The May 10 meeting features presentations about aviation in Pierce County and Washington state. Pierce County Airport - Thun Field and Tacoma Narrows Airport combine to serve approximately 120,000 takeoffs and landings a year.

The joint meeting of the Thun Field Advisory Commission and the Tacoma Narrows Airport Advisory Commission will run from 7 to 9 p.m. on May 10 at the Pierce County Environmental Services Building, located at 9850 64th St. W. in University Place.

The meeting will feature two presentations: “The Impact of NextGen Technologies on General Aviation Airports,” presented by the Puget Sound Regional Council, and “Washington State Aviation Economic Impact Study,” presented by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

Stephen Kiehl, principal planner for the Puget Sound Regional Council, will share information about its federally-funded study of emerging aviation technology. The study is designed to help the region’s airports shift from a ground-based system of air traffic control to a satellite-based system. The new technology will lead to more direct routes, fewer delays and fuel and other cost savings for air traffic.

John Shambaugh from WSDOT will share the results of the agency’s study of the economic impact of public-use airports, according to the study website.

The two Pierce County airports are operated by Public Works and Utilities. More information is available at The spring edition of the Sound Skies airport newsletter is also available on the website.


Deb Wallace, Public Works and Utilities airport and ferry administrator
(253) 798-7109