Aviation plans & studies

WSDOT Aviation has been involved in various studies to help better understand the benefits of the Washington state aviation system.

Aviation Economic Impact Study

WSDOT Aviation, with the assistance of consulting firm Kimley-Horn, completed a statewide Aviation Economic Impact Study for the Washington Aviation System in 2020. The study revealed the state’s 134 public-use airport system contributes 407,042 jobs, $26.8 billion in labor income, and $107 billion in total economic impact (business revenues) to our state’s economy and communities.

Airports provide an essential link to the nation's airspace, commerce, and emergency services and are an important part of Washington state's transportation system and economy. Washington has 134 public airports in 37 of its 39 counties. Each airport fulfills a particular role in supporting community, economic, and transportation needs.

WSDOT Aviation Division, with the support of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) conducted the aviation economic impact study to:

  • Measure the economic impacts of each public-use airport in Washington.
  • Assess the economic value that airports create for communities.
  • Show airports and the state aviation system contribute to the state's economy and economic competitiveness.
  • The study also developed an Airport Economic Mapping Tool.

For the full report, please email christina.crea@wsdot.wa.gov

Watch a how-to video of the new Washington State Aviation Economic Mapping Application

Airport Investment Study and Airport Investment Study Solutions

The Airport Investment Study found that the state’s 134 public-use airports will need $3.6 billion in projects during the next 20 years. WSDOT’s Airport Aid Program provides an average of $1.1 million in state airport grants per year. During the 20-year study period, the state grant program is forecasted to average $1.4 million per year. WSDOT estimates an average of $12 million per year is needed to meet the state’s portion of the overall $3.6 billion in project needs. The study concluded in June of 2015.

Final Report: Airport Investment Study

For the full report, please email christina.crea@wsdot.wa.gov

Final Report: Airport Investment Study Solutions

Executive Summary (PDF 826KB)

For the full report, please email christina.crea@wsdot.wa.gov

Electric Aircraft Feasibility Study

The state legislature tasked WSDOT Aviation Division to form the Electric Aircraft Working Group (EAWG) in 2018 to explore electric aircraft service across the state. 

WSDOT Electric Aircraft Feasibility Study 2018 (PDF 14.5MB)

Washington Electric Airport Feasibility Study

A University of Washington study developed methods to estimate plausible future energy and power demands for electric aircraft operations at regional airports to determine whether the electric grid near two regional airports — Paine Field and Grant County International Airport — have the capacity to serve the potential energy (MWh) and peak power (MW) needs of electric aircraft operations over the next one to two decades.

Washington Electric Airport Feasibility Study 2022 (PDF 2.4MB)

Learn about the statewide planning we are doing for aviation.

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has developed Airport Layout Plans (ALP) and Narrative Reports for nine of the 15 State-Managed Airports located throughout Washington state.

Slow down – lives are on the line. 

In 2023, speeding continued to be a top reason for work zone crashes.

Even one life lost is too many.

Fatal work zone crashes doubled in 2023 - Washington had 10 fatal work zone crashes on state roads.

It's in EVERYONE’S best interest.

95% of people hurt in work zones are drivers, their passengers or passing pedestrians, not just our road crews.