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Port Purchases Property Adjacent to Airport for Buffer
Burlington – The Port of Skagit has purchased a 95-acre parcel abutting port property on the east side of Skagit Regional Airport and backing up on the Skagit Golf and Country Club.
The land, purchased from Idaho resident Henry Van Pelt for $485,100, will help to secure the airport from encroachment of residential development under the landing pattern, said Patsy Martin, executive director of the Port of Skagit. Further benefits from the purchase include the following:
- The Van Pelt property is under two safety zones for the airport’s main runway. The area needs to be kept clear of development that might create potential hazards to flight, such as bird strikes, smoke or electronic interference with air navigation.
- The property also needs to be protected from development that is particularly sensitive to noise, including residential housing, in compliance with the FAA Integrated Noise Model, a part of the Skagit Regional Airport Master Plan Update, adopted by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2007.
- The property currently is zoned for industrial use, which fits the port’s mission and purpose. Under port ownership, it would not be subject to potential rezoning to allow residential development or other uses incompatible with the airport’s continued operation.
- Acquiring the property would give the port the potential use of about 13 acres for wetland restoration. This could be used for mitigation to open more suitable property at the airport for development.
Current port plans call for developing Skagit Regional Airport as a hub for corporate and private business aviation. The port does not expect to pursue regularly scheduled airline service at the airport in the foreseeable future. But it is likely that air traffic – including corporate jets – will increase in the coming years.
With increased operations at the airport, it is also likely that further build-out of the airport and adjacent Bayview Business Park properties will occur, producing increased employment opportunities in Skagit County.