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Aviation Enthusiasts to Weigh In on Proposed Washington State Aviation License Plate

A special license plate recognizing aviation could be a new option for Washington state vehicle owners if a proposal for the plate is approved by the state Legislature.wsh-plate

The Washington State Aviation License Plate, sponsored by the Washington State Department of Transportation‘s Aviation Division, is a collaborative effort by several aviation organizations represented by the Washington State Aviation Alliance. The goal of this specialty plate is to highlight the importance of the state’s aviation system, and to raise funds to support aviation and public-use airports in Washington State.

The anticipated one-time cost for the aviation plate would be $40. Of that fee, $12 would cover vehicle licensing fees and the remaining $28 would 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 awareness programs that p
    romote public participation at airports.

A minimum of 3,500 signatures (Washington State residents), are needed before the specialty license plate can be considered by the state Legislature. The goal is to obtain these signatures by Jan. 1 in order for the plate to be considered during the 2017 legislative session. If approved by the Legislature, the plates could be available through Department of Licensing next summer.

Resident supporters of the license plate idea are encouraged to sign the online petition. “We are only looking for Washington State residents to sign,” said Tristan Atkins, Washington State Aviation Division Director. “If well-intentioned folks from outside the Evergreen State sign the online petition, it will skew our numbers.”

The petition allows residents to submit a signature and indicate the number of plates they would likely purchase. While these signatures are intended to show anticipated purchases, submitting a signature is not an obligation to buy a plate. The website also includes an image of the proposed plate.

The aviation license plate features a Boeing Stearman aircraft – one of the very first planes produced by Boeing in the 1930s. This aircraft has a rich history, with an entire generation of pilots earning their wings on Stearman trainers. The Stearman was also used during the 30s and 40s as a standard trainer for military aviators in the U.S. Army and Navy. “Of course, we have strong ties in Washington State with Boeing,” said Atkins.

Atkins said the online petition was activated on Wednesday, November 16th. “Within the first 24-hours, we had nearly 1,000 people sign the petition! This is a great example of what a state aviation division can accomplish when they work closely with the aviation community of pilots, airports, and others,” said Atkins.

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