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Port of Seattle commissioners meet for the first time on September 12, 1911.
On September 12, 1911, one week after King County voters created the Port of Seattle and elected them, Seattle's port commissioners meet for the first time. Retired Army Corps of Engineers General Hiram M. Chittenden (1858-1917), radical labor organizer Robert Bridges (1861-1921), and Fremont banker Charles E. Remsberg begin the massive task of planning and developing Seattle's first publicly owned and operated port facilities. These will include Fishermen's Terminal on Salmon Bay and the huge piers that now compose Terminal 91 at Smith Cove, both still integral components of Seattle's waterfront, as well as the original Bell Street Pier and the Port's first docks on the Duwamish Waterway. Over the next century, the Port of Seattle will build on these initial efforts as it transforms Elliott Bay into one of the world's leading container ports, builds and operates Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and develops the fishing fleet terminal, marinas, cruise ship berths, and other facilities that collectively make it a major contributor to regional economic growth.
File 9726: Full Text >
Port of Seattle issues study on December 28, 1988, forecasting that by 2000 Sea-Tac International Airport could reach maximum capacity.
On December 28, 1988, the Port of Seattle publishes a "Comprehensive Planning Review and Airspace Update Study." This study concludes that the existing two runways at Seattle-Tacoma (Sea-Tac) International Airport could reach "maximum efficient capacity" by the year 2000, giving impetus to the idea of constructing a third "dependent" runway.
File 4198: Full Text >
Port of Seattle and Puget Sound Council of Governments launch Flight Plan study on May 23, 1989.
On May 23, 1989, the Port of Seattle and Puget Sound Council of Governments (reorganized as the Puget Sound Regional Council in 1991) sign an Interagency Agreement to launch the "Flight Plan" study of future air service capacity needs and solutions, including the possible expansion of the Seattle-Tacoma (Sea-Tac) International Airport. The effort is guided by a 39-member Puget Sound Air Transportation Committee and will lead to a controversial decision in 1992 to add a third "dependent" runway at Sea-Tac to maintain airport capacity during low visibility weather conditions.
File 4199: Full Text >
Washington State Legislature imposes moratorium on new runway development at Western Washington airports in March 1992.
In March 1992, the Washington State Legislature orders the Air Transportation Commission (AIRTRAC) to study air -transportation issues facing the state, and imposes a moratorium on new runway development at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) and at other western Washington airports until the study is complete. This action reflects legislators' skepticism of the Port of Seattle's plans for a third runway at Sea-Tac. The Legislature will dissolve the Commission in 1994 and lift the moratorium even though the commission reports that the third Sea-Tac runway will not adequately solve the region's air transportation problems.
File 4200: Full Text >
Puget Sound Air Transportation Committee endorses construction of a third runway at Sea-Tac International Airport on June 17, 1992.
On June 17, 1992, the Puget Sound Air Transportation Committee (PSATC) adopts its final report, titled "Flight Plan," and recommends the addition of a third runway to the Seattle-Tacoma (Sea-Tac) International Airport, commercial use of Snohomish County's Paine Field and possibly Tacoma's McChord Air Force Base, and development of a "supplemental airport" in Pierce or Thurston County to meet projected commercial airline service needs in the region through 2020. The special 39-member committee was established in late 1989 by the Port of Seattle and the Puget Sound Council of Governments (now Puget Sound Regional Council). Two-and-a-half years of public discussion and technical analysis is approved by a vote of 29 to 6. This action lays the foundation for the construction of Sea-Tac's third runway.
File 4201: Full Text >
Port of Seattle authorizes planning for new runway at Sea-Tac International Airport on November 3, 1992.
On November 3, 1992, the Seattle Port Commission approves Resolution 3125 to commence planning for a "third runway" at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The action follows a three-year "Flight Plan" study and public discussion conducted by the Puget Sound Regional Council. The new runway is intended to maintain airport operations during inclement weather, but it generates criticism from neighboring cities opposed to Sea-Tac's expansion.
File 4007: Full Text >
Burien officially incorporates on February 28, 1993.
On February 28, 1993, the city of Burien incorporates. Residents had voted two to one in favor of incorporation on March 10, 1992. Burien becomes Washington's 22nd-largest city, behind Lynnwood, but ahead of Walla Walla. Although residents had rejected the idea four times before, unchecked growth, plans for a third runway at Sea-Tac Airport, and a proposal to build a floating bridge through the community generated new interest in becoming a city. The new city consists of approximately nine square miles between Seattle and Normandy Park and between the City of Seatac and Puget Sound and has a population of about 27,700.
File 7676: Full Text >
Puget Sound Regional Council amends the Regional Airport System Plan to support a third runway at Sea-Tac International Airport and development of a major supplemental airport on April 29, 1993.
On April 29, 1993, the Puget Sound Regional Council's General Assembly adopts Resolution A-93-03 amending the 1988 Regional Airport System Plan on the basis of a three-year Flight Plan study concluded in 1992. The Resolution declares that "The region should pursue vigorously, as the preferred alternative, a major supplemental airport and a third runway at Sea-Tac," subject to additional Expert Arbitration Panel reviews. The motion passes with an 89 percent majority.
File 4203: Full Text >
The Puget Sound Regional Council Executive Board ends search for a major supplemental airport site on October 27, 1994.
On October 27, 1994, the Puget Sound Regional Council Executive Board adopts Resolution EB-94-01, ending the search for a new airport site to supplement Seattle-Tacoma (Sea-Tac) International Airport, which is owned and operated by the Port of Seattle. This action leaves the construction of a third runway at Sea-Tac Airport as the Council's sole "preferred alternative" for meeting the region's projected air capacity needs through 2020.
File 4204: Full Text >
FAA and Port of Seattle publish a Final Environmental Impact Statement for proposed Sea-Tac International Airport improvements, including a third runway, on February 1, 1996.
On February 1, 1996, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Port of Seattle formally issue a seven-volume, 5,500-page Final Environmental Impact Statement for planned Seattle-Tacoma International (Sea-Tac) Airport improvements, including a controversial third runway. The Environmental Impact Statement finds that the project is needed to meet future air travel needs and that all anticipated effects on the natural and social environment can be mitigated. This determination gives the Port of Seattle, Sea-Tac's operator, the green light to begin detailed planning and engineering and to apply for needed state and federal permits.
File 4205: Full Text >
Port of Seattle Commission adopts Sea-Tac International Airport's Master Plan Update, including a third runway and enhanced noise criteria, on August 1, 1996.
On August 1, 1996, the Port of Seattle passes Resolution 3212, adopting the Seattle-Tacoma (Sea-Tac) International Airport's Master Plan Update (MPU) and the Puget Sound Regional Council's (PSRC) Resolution A-96-02 noise criteria. These resolutions authorize detailed planning, property acquisition, and permit applications for construction of a third runway at Sea-Tac Airport.
File 4206: Full Text >
Port of Seattle approves a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and permit applications for third runway construction at Sea-Tac International Airport on May 27, 1997.
On May 27, 1997, the Port of Seattle adopts Resolution 3245, approving the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement prepared by the Port and Federal Aviation Administration. The Resolution also authorizes construction of a third runway for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport pending approval of necessary permits.
File 4207: Full Text >
Washington State Department of Ecology issues Clean Water Act permit for proposed third runway at Sea-Tac International Airport on August 10, 2001.
On August 10, 2001, the Washington State Department of Ecology issues to the Port of Seattle a permit that certifies compliance with Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act. This permit is a key step in the long process to allow construction of a third dependent runway for Seattle-Tacoma (Sea-Tac) International Airport. The Airport Communities Coalition, a consortium of six communities surrounding the airport, quickly files an appeal.
File 4208: Full Text >
Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board approves, with conditions, Section 401 Water Quality Certification for Sea-Tac International Airport's proposed third runway on August 12, 2002.
On August 12, 2002, the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board grants a Section 401 Water Quality Certification to the Port of Seattle for construction of a third runway at Seattle-Tacoma (Sea-Tac) International Airport. The certification imposes 16 additional conditions beyond those mandated in the original 401 permit issued by the Washington State Department of Ecology on August 10, 2001. The Hearings Board Certification, with its new conditions, will be subsequently appealed on various grounds by the Port of Seattle, by the Department of Ecology, and by third-runway opponents.
File 4209: Full Text >
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issues a permit for filling wetlands in connection with Sea-Tac International Airport's third runway on December 13, 2002.
On December 13, 2002, the United States Army Corps of Engineers issues to the Port of Seattle a 404 Permit to begin filling wetlands within the area designated for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport's third runway. The Port had halted processing of an earlier application after determining that more wetlands were potentially impacted by the project than originally estimated.
File 4210: Full Text >
Airport Communities Coalition drops opposition to Sea-Tac International Airport third runway on August 19, 2004.
On August 19, 2004, the Airport Communities Coalition drops its opposition to the Seattle-Tacoma (Sea-Tac) International Airport third runway after spending $15 million over 10 years campaigning and litigating against the project. Construction of the 8,500-foot runway will resume and will be completed in 2008. The runway is needed to reduce air-travel delays during bad weather and has been planned since 1988.
File 5733: Full Text >
Sea-Tac International Airport's third runway opens on November 20, 2008.
On November 20, 2008, the new third runway at Seattle-Tacoma (Sea-Tac) International Airport opens to scheduled air traffic when an Alaska Airlines flight takes off for Denver following a dedication ceremony. The 8,500-foot-long runway is the culmination of more than 20 years of planning, construction, and controversy. Planners at the Port of Seattle, which owns and operates Sea-Tac, first recognized the need for a third runway in 1988. Construction began in 1997. Half a million truckloads of fill dirt were hauled to the site to create an artificial plateau level with the existing runways. Crews poured 130,000 cubic yards of concrete and 35,000 tons of asphalt to build the 150-foot-wide, 17-inch-deep runway. Originally estimated to cost $217 million, the new runway ends up costing just over $1 billion.
File 8855: Full Text >