Washington legislators, staff members and aviation stakeholders throughout the state flocked to the Capitol Campus in Olympia on Jan. 18, to attend the 5th annual Airport Awareness Day.
Over the years, the event has grown in popularity with nearly 100 attending the 2017 event. Many aviation associations now see the event as a key opportunity to connect with elected officials to discuss statewide aviation challenges and solutions.
Airport Awareness Day is hosted by the Washington State Aviation Alliance, which serves as a collective voice for aviation and aviation-related organizations in the state. It highlights the importance of airports to Washington’s transportation system, economy and quality of life.
“Airport Awareness Day is always a high priority for the WSAA,” said David Ketchum, WSAA president. “It’s our chance to get in front of legislators, present the issues and challenges facing our aviation system, and talk about real ways we can work together to address them.”
Representatives from the Washington State Department of Transportation were also on hand during the event to answer questions and provide general information.
“WSDOT was happy to participate in Airport Awareness Day again this year and provide technical assistance,” said WSDOT Aviation Director Tristan Atkins. “We are pleased that WSDOT studies such as the Aviation Economic Study, Airport Investment Study and Airport Investment Solution Study are being used in such important ways to help tackle airport funding needs and gaps.”
In addition to the daytime event, about 40 more took part in an evening reception at the Waterstreet Café in downtown Olympia.
WSAA members are already planning next year’s event and discussing ways to attract even more people in an effort to advance Washington’s aviation interests.