Business

Airlines' takeoff canceled by Sims

By ERICA HALL

The Mirror

King County Executive Ron Sims sent letters last week to both Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines informing them he has rejected both airlines’ offers to move their passenger services into the King County International Airport, or Boeing Field.

King County councilmen Larry Phillips and Dwight Pelz, whose districts include areas under what would have been the new flights paths, called Sims’ decision a victory for Seattle residents. An informational public meeting scheduled for Wednesday continued as planned, but was expected to become more of a celebration for opponents of the airlines’ switch.

Seattle Port Commissioner Bob Edwards lauded Sims’ decision, noting the region has invested in the port-operated Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to serve as the primary commercial airport.

“I want to thank (Sims) for recognizing the high costs to the region if Southwest Airlines and other airlines were to move to Boeing Field,” Edwards said.

Edwards added the port values its airline customers. “We want them to stay, grow and succeed,” he said. “The Port is doing everything possible to keep costs low at Sea-Tac and provide the very best airport facilities for airlines and our passengers.”

In his announcement last Tuesday, Sims said the proposal to provide commercial airline service from Boeing Field might have worked for either airline alone, but it wouldn’t work for both together. He added the county prosecutor told him the Federal Aviation Administration probably wouldn’t have allowed the county to grant permission to one airline and not the other.

The competing proposals “seriously undermined the possibility of commercial air service at Boeing Field without a substantial

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