Boeing Field GA Pilots Fear Squeeze From Southwest


GA operators at Seattle’s Boeing Field say Southwest Airlines’ bid to relocate to their airport would push out small aircraft. However, airport management claims that GA could coexist with an influx of 737s. Southwest is pushing for a move to Boeing Field because it claims the costs of operation at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport are too high. If Southwest is allowed to move, it could spell the end of an FAA exemption that allows the simultaneous use of parallel runways at Boeing that are too close together under normal standards. And that, claims the Friends of Boeing Field, will mean the end of GA at the airport. GA pilot Robert Bismuth told King 5 News that if passenger traffic is allowed, the FAA would likely curtail or even eliminate the use of the secondary runway, which is now used exclusively by small aircraft. Southwest would also want space for fuel and cargo operations and that would mean eliminating some GA hangars. “Eventually, people have to see this as the absurd proposal that it really is,” Bismuth said. Airport Manager Bob Burke said the addition of Southwest might result in some delays but he said he believes there’d still be room for GA.