Connecting regional airports with high capacity transit

Regional Aviation Baseline Study

A safe and efficient transportation system serves as a backbone of the economy and is essential to the region’s quality of life. Roadway and transit connections keep the region moving and are vital to a thriving airport system.

In the central Puget Sound region, a strong network of highways, buses, light rail, bicycle and pedestrian connections helps connect airports to passengers, employees, businesses, and freight services in the four-county region and beyond.

High capacity transit connections are especially important for airports with commercial service. Currently, five of the region’s airports - Sea-Tac, Paine Field, Renton Municipal, Will Rogers-Wiley Post Memorial Seaplane Base, and Kenmore Air Harbor Seaplane Base in Seattle’s Lake Union - are connected to existing light rail or bus rapid transit service.

New access to airports is planned. Sound Transit’s Link light rail extension and the expansion of King County Metro’s RapidRide will bring high capacity transit to four more airports in the region. King County International Airport (Boeing Field), Auburn Municipal, Seattle Seaplanes Seaplane Base, and Kenmore Air Harbor Seaplane Base in Lake Washington are planned to gain connections over the next two decades.

Demand for aviation services continues to grow. More people and flights are coming into regional airports daily, and unconstrained demand for aircraft operations is expected to double by 2050.  Improved airport access from highways, buses, light rail, and other modes is critical to meeting this demand.

PSRC is conducting a Regional Aviation Baseline Study to better understand the region’s aviation system and options for meeting growing demand. Results from the study will form the technical foundation for future decisions by regional and state leaders.  A final report is due out in fall 2020.