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Boeing to test military aircraft

The Boeing Company plans to test a new wide-body tanker jet for up to nine months beginning in December.

During the tests, the new tankers will refuel several models of military “receiver” aircraft during flights over western Washington. In addition to several of its KC-46A tanker jets, Boeing plans to base two Navy F-18 aircraft at Boeing Field during this time. Plans call for two F-18 takeoffs and landings per day (including evenings), a few times per week.

Boeing is working to minimize the noise impact of this testing on the airport’s neighbors. The company will comply with all state, county, and city codes, and with Boeing Quiet Hour procedures as well as King County International Airport’s Fly Quiet Program.

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King County International Airport/Boeing Field

King County International Airport—also known as Boeing Field—is one of the busiest primary non-hub airports in the nation. Just four miles south of downtown Seattle, it averages around 200,000 operations (takeoffs and landings) each year. In 2001, it was named by the National Air Transportation Association as one of the “100 Most Needed Airports” in the United States. It is financed by airport tenants’ and customers’ fees, and receives no general tax revenues.

Boeing Field ranks among the most successful public investments in state history. The airport’s economic impact is $3.5 billion in terms of local business sales that support 16,336 jobs and create $1.8 billion in labor income in the county. The airport’s 150 tenant businesses also directly support 5,209 jobs in the local economy. (For details, see our 2013 economic impact study.)

The airport serves small commercial passenger airlines, cargo carriers, private aircraft owners, helicopters, corporate jets, and military and other aircraft. It is also home to the Boeing Company’s 737 aircraft flight-test program, along with other Boeing operations. The Museum of Flight is located there, with its wide variety of aircraft and exhibits showcasing aviation history. It is frequently host to celebrities and dignitaries, including the President of the United States, who prefer Boeing Field because of its proximity to downtown Seattle and other commercial areas.

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King County Aerospace Alliance

Learn more about King County’s action plan to support local aerospace industry


Airport expands impact on region’s economy (News release, 5/1/2014)
Study: Economic impact of airport on region is $3.65 billion (308KB PDF)

Airport Advisories


Quarterly safety bulletin