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August 02, 2005

What I Don't Understand About Southwest's Proposed Move to Boeing Field...

...is why the sovereign people of King County (via our elected leaders) don't just tell Southwest that it has a simple choice: either fly out of SeaTac, or leave the Seattle air travel market to their competitors. 

Unless I'm missing something, We The People own both SeaTac and Boeing Field, and we have the right to decide how they should be best used.  Not some corporation in Dallas.  We The People have chosen SeaTac as our major regional passenger airport.  We have chosen to invest our tax dollars in so that it has decent facilities, light rail, etc.   Southwest Airlines' choice is simple: fly into SeaTac or don't serve the Seattle market.

We should expect our elected leaders to show some backbone here.  We The People get to decide how our airports and skies get used.

Let's not even get started about the cost of security for two major airports.

Posted by Jon Stahl on August 2, 2005 at 10:23 PM in Policy | Permalink


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For the record, King County Councilmember Dwight Pelz has been fighting this tooth and nail since Sims announced it...

Posted by: Willis | Aug 3, 2005 12:30:27 PM

How hard would it be to get a citizen initiative on the ballot in King County?

Posted by: Ben Schiendelman | Aug 3, 2005 12:44:13 PM

I think that it's something that the FAA controls ... I'm not sure that the county can bar them from operating from Sea-Tac. I'd look into that.

They can, however, refuse to build up the roads, etc. around the airport. Not sure that's the best idea though.

Posted by: Dean | Aug 3, 2005 3:14:35 PM

Although if there were the groundswell behind a not legal ballot initiative, you might see SW and Sims back off a bit...

Posted by: Willis | Aug 3, 2005 4:53:44 PM

This is an incredibly bad proposal. Dwight Pelz compared it in an op-ed to the promise of Wal-Mart coming into a small town promising jobs and tax revenues. A few years later, Main Street is vacant and the jobs are all minimum wage.

To help fight this proposal, a good place to start is by contacting Dwight Pelz on the www.metrokc.gov website or by going to the community site, www.friendsofboeingfield.org

Posted by: bfree2think | Aug 3, 2005 5:39:02 PM

The problem King County has is that federal regulations preempt the field of aviation and they prohibit the county from denying Southwest access to the field. All that King County can do is impose reasonable conditions. The hypocrisy of McDermott attacking Sims for trying to deal with the requirements of federal law is unsurpassable. The members of Congress who are attacking the county should deal with the problem that federal law creates, not Sims

Posted by: Steve | Aug 5, 2005 1:16:55 PM

I correct my comment above insofar as it included McDermott among the hypocrites in Congress regarding King County airport. He's isn't one of that pack, at least so far. But the rest of those hypocrites should look at the federal regulations preempting decisions concerning the use of airports by scheduled air carriers. The county can't directly exclude SWA, but it can impose reasonable conditions.

Posted by: Steve | Aug 5, 2005 1:58:11 PM

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