Washington Airport Management Association

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WAMA Members: 

We scored a significant victory in the effort to alter the distribution of the Aircraft Excise Tax today, April 2, 2015!

As you are aware, WAMA has been involved in a multi-year effort to implement legislation that would dedicate 100% of all Aircraft Excise Taxes to the State Aeronautics Account. Today, Representative Tom Dent, who has been actively working on this issue since before his first day in office, offered an amendment to House Bill 1106 (the proposed House Operating Budget bill) and the amendment was adopted. You can view the text of the amendment here.

The amendment appropriates $638,000, the value of the Aircraft Excise Taxes forecast to be collected in fiscal years 2016 and 2017, to the State Aeronautics Account for the WSDOT Airport Aid Grant program. And it makes clear that the intent of the legislature is to continue the appropriation of these funds to the Aeronautics Account in future budgets.

Thank you to all of you who took the time to reach out to your Representatives to advance this important legislation. Please take a moment to contact Rep. Dent to express your appreciation for his hard work on getting this issue to the floor and getting it passed. You can email him at tom.dent@leg.wa.gov.

Of course, the battle isn't over until the budget is passed and signed by the Governor, so please stay tuned for future updates.

Ryan Sheehan,
WAMA Vice President and Legislative Committee Chair

A Message from WAMA's President:

Kandace Harvey, WAMA President

March 30, 2015
Attention WAMA Members:
Your assistance is urgently requested!


Our signature legislative issue, the Aircraft Excise Tax modification, continues to languish in the House Appropriations Committee. Because the Legislature is beginning work on the budget, it is more critical than ever that you reach out to your Representatives and educate them about the importance of this issue.

Please review the talking points memo that was previously distributed with the key issues you should focus on when contacting your Representatives. Also provided is a list of Representatives and the airports they represent in their district. The list includes notes for those Representatives who sit on the Appropriations Committee, and those who co-sponsored the House version of the legislation (HB1526).

We are asking WAMA members to call and write their Representatives to encourage them to put pressure on the House Appropriations Committee Chair, Rep. Hunter, to bring the Aircraft Excise Tax issue (in either House Bill 1526 or Substitute Senate Bill 5324) to a vote in the Committee. We are also asking members to contact Rep. Hunter directly to encourage him to bring this matter to a vote in the Committee.

If you have any questions, or need any additional information, please contact WAMA Vice President, and Legislative Committee Chair, Ryan Sheehan at vicepresident@wama.us or (509) 455-6418.

Make the call today!
More Association News

There is a lot going on in WAMA these days. We're all busy - the officers as well as the members. Conference preparations are underway and registrations are being made. Conference materials and links to the registration process are located here.

We've initiated an awards program and are waiting (and hoping) for nominations to be submitted by members. Members may learn more about the awards program here (login required).

The Scholarship and other financial assistance programs have been announced and we are waiting for applications to be submitted by students and airports. Click here for application and program information.

We continue to regularly send out announcements—in our e-newsletters and, in some cases, in specific email blasts—regarding these and other timely association and aviation-related topics.  We hope you are checking your WAMA emails AND the WAMA web site, so that you will not miss out on these great opportunities.

One of our most important current activities is our support for the aircraft excise tax legislation.  We've been keeping you posted on the legislation; there has been some positive action in the legislature and at this moment we have hope for further action.

The Washington State Aviation Alliance (WSAA) serves as a collective voice for aviation and airport-related organizations to protect and promote aviation in the state of Washington.

There is little question that the general aviation industry is facing serious challenges in today's economic climate, a situation that may become worse depending on actions taken to balance budgets and reduce spending. Many proposed actions could result in further adverse impacts to an already depressed industry. While we in the industry recognize the importance of general aviation to the transportation system and its value to local and national economies, many do not have that information or share our view – which makes it important that we find ways to protect the industry and, where possible, promote its growth.

A number of organizations have been created in states around the country to address these issues. There has been recognition of a need for those of us in Washington’s aviation community to join forces in a similar way in an effort to protect and promote general aviation interests in the state. For this reason a small group of representatives from several aviation organizations met and initiated the development of an organization that will meet that need.

This organization is titled the Washington State Aviation Alliance (WSAA) and was created as a 501(c)(6) nonprofit corporation.

Purposes of the new organization, as stated in the adopted bylaws are:
(A)  To advocate for aviation in the state and bring together members of various aviation associations to represent a collective voice for common goals. 
(B)  To promote airports as vital to our state’s economy and transportation system.  
(C)  To encourage aviation education and training opportunities throughout the state to foster new generations of skilled workers for aviation jobs. 
(D)  To advocate for airport issues that are important to the state, region and 
communities they serve. 
(E)  To support aviation initiatives that bolster the state’s economy and transportation system. 
(F)  To communicate with decision makers about the importance of aviation. 
(G)  To propose initiatives and legislation that address aviation issues and promote the health of aviation in the state. 
(H)  To enable the exchange of ideas, information and experience between various 
aviation user groups. 
(I)  To provide outreach to user groups and the public about relevant aviation issues and initiatives. 
(J)  To take all other appropriate action in furtherance of such purposes; and consistent with the above, to exercise all powers available to nonprofit corporations.
(K)  To act as a resource for:
    a.  Major planning initiatives within Washington State, and
    b.   Aviation issues affecting Washington State.

The WSAA mission statement is: The Washington State Aviation Alliance serves as a collective voice for aviation and airport-related organizations to protect and promote aviation in the state of Washington.

Membership in the alliance will consist of aviation organizations properly incorporated or organized in Washington state under four categories:
1. Voting Members are general aviation organizations properly incorporated or organized within Washington state that have an active membership and an established location(s), chapter(s), or appointed representative within the state of Washington, as approved by a majority vote of the Alliance; 

2. Additional Voting Membership is granted to those Washington State Legislature-enacted Organizations with an Aviation Component, including but not limited to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Aviation Division and the Washington Public Ports Association (WPPA). The WSDOT Aviation Division director and the WPPA Aviation Committee Chair are the preferred Voting Members, respectively, to the Alliance so long as WSDOT Aviation and/or WPPA members own or operate airports and to the extent that compliance with state ethics laws may require abstention from voting from time to time;

3. Non-Voting Members are general aviation organizations that do not have an established location within Washington state, do not have a single Chapter that represents its membership on a statewide basis, or which otherwise do not meet the criteria for Voting Membership, and are granted a Non-Voting Membership by a majority vote of the Alliance; and 

4. Associate Membership is Non-Voting Membership and may include, but is not limited to, aviation-oriented organizations or businesses, aviation consultants, aviation educational entities, air museums, and higher education institutions that offer degree programs in aviation-related fields of study and students.

The intentions of the organizers of the Alliance are encompassed in the purposes listed above.  It is our hope that the Alliance will encourage improved relationships among airports, airport and system users and developers, elected officials and regulators, all of which help to protect and grow general aviation and airports within the state.  It's important to note also, that the organizers expect the Alliance to be both low cost and effective, supported primarily by the efforts of its member organizations and agencies. 

The organization is presently served by the following officers:
President: Kandace Harvey, Washington Airport Management Association
Vice President: Les Price, Washigton Pilots Association
Treasurer: David Ketchum, Washington State Community Airports Association
Secretary: Tristan Atkins, WSDOT Aviation

The Alliance will hold its first membership meeting later this year. Currently, it's most significant effort is to support, in conjunction with WAMA and others, the aircraft excise tax legislation presently working its way through the Washington State Legislature. To its credit, as well as that of the member organizations, progress is being made on that front.

WAMA Member Airports - Click to Enlarge

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May 20, 2015 11:00 AM (PDT) • Spokane, Washington

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2015 WAMA Spring Conference
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May 20-22, 2015
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