Hovering Helicopters Mean Third Runway Is Officially Open

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Right now (around 4pm 11/20/08) there is a plethora of media helicopters hovering over Burien.

Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world as we know it, it’s just proof that the third runway at Sea-Tac Airport is about to be officially opened with a PR-stunt bigshot landing.

Here’s a snippet from the Port of Seattle of what was set to go down this afternoon:

The Port of Seattle will formally open Seattle-Tacoma International Airport’s third runway with an invitation-only celebration Thursday, November 20 between 3 and 5 p.m. at the Gina Marie Lindsey Arrivals Hall.

The event will include a live video look at the first commercial operation of the third runway plus dignataries scheduled to include U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters, Acting FAA Administrator Robert A. “Bobby” Sturgell, Governor Chris Gregoire, Port of Seattle Commissioners, POS CEO Tay Yoshitani, Alaska Airlines CEO Bill Ayer and other local political and community leaders.

Sea-Tac’s third runway will be one of three new runways scheduled to open that day across the country. The Transportation Secretary and FAA Administrator are scheduled to travel to each new runway beginning at Dulles (Washington, D.C.), then to O’Hare (Chicago) and finally to Sea-Tac.  Potential program delays could occur based on their travel time.

Speaking of third runways, if you didn’t hear this excellent piece on KUOW today, we highly recommend you listen to it, as it includes an eye-opening interview with longtime local resident Brett Fish, who says that all the PR we hear lately from the Port about the renewing of MIller (and Walker) Creeks may not be so true after all – according to Brett, salmon are not returning like they used to. In fact, during the taping of the KUOW piece, not one salmon was found where the Port folks said they would be:

KUOW story here (includes transcript and audio recording).

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