Poll Results Show Overwhelming Support for Airport Expansion

More than 80 percent of people responding to a City of Yakima poll strongly support expansion of Yakima Air Terminal-McAllister Field (YKM).

The poll was open from Dec. 31, 2022 to Jan. 30, 2023, receiving 1,404 responses:

  • 1,163 (83%) “Strongly support” expanding YKM
  • 69 (5%) “Somewhat support”
  • 20 (1%) “Neither support nor oppose”
  • 47 (3%) “Somewhat oppose”
  • 105 (7%) “Strongly oppose”

“The City of Yakima appreciates the many, many people who took the time to participate in this poll,” said Communications & Public Affairs Director Randy Beehler. “We are grateful for the more than 1,000 written comments the community provided. These will be very helpful going forward.”

There were 1,137 comments in response to the poll question, “What concerns, if any, do you have about this proposed expansion of the Yakima airport?” Nearly half had no concerns. The top five responses were:

  • 535 had no concerns, with many suggesting expansion would be good for the local economy
  • 236 replied traffic and congestion
  • 162 replied noise
  • 143 replied sufficient expansion
  • 94 replied airport connectivity

The poll consisted of two questions, with replies summarized above. It allowed respondents to reply anonymously.

Washington state plans to build a new regional airport in the next decade. On January 3rd the Yakima City Council approved a letter to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) asking for YKM to be considered as the new preferred airport location.

 “YKM has a historic partnership with SeaTac Airport, including serving as the emergency back-up site for aircraft unable to land at SeaTac,” the City Council’s letter to WSDOT and the Commercial Aviation Coordinating Committee (CACC) stated. “Yakima provides an excellent option because of its central location with easy transportation access to the west and east sides of the state.”

CACC is offering two Virtual Office Hour Drop-In sessions – noon today, Wednesday, Feb. 1st, and 5:15 pm on Monday, Feb. 6th – to answer questions about new regional airport options.