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Boeing military aircraft testing

At the end of January, The Boeing Company began flight testing its new KC-46 refueling jet. The company says this testing may take up to nine months.

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

Two Navy F-18 jets are part of the refueling exercise and will take off and land at Boeing Field a few times each weekday. The county does not have authority over military operations, but we will work with Boeing to minimize the noise impact.

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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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