Washington Airport Management Association 


This year's WAMA Conference held at the Davenport Grand Hotel in Spokane resulted in the largest turnout ever. Monday was a day of arrivals, a game of golf and a tour of Geiger Field, ending with a reception at the Historic Flight Foundation Museum on Felts Field.

Tuesday and Wednesday were filled with top speakers presenting a variety of subjects to aid and inform those in charge of airport operations.  The 2023 WAMA Conference presentation slides are available to WAMA members for viewing and download.

Tuesday night ended with an awards banquet honoring the golf winners, the WAMA Project of the Year, the WAMA Member of the Year, and the President's Award.

Congratulations to the recipients of this year's WAMA Awards!

  Dayna Dent, Executive Director Marjy Leggett, Rep. Tom Dent, and President Brandon Rakes

President's Award: 
To Rep. Tom Dent,
13th District, of Moses Lake for the continued support he has given to the airport community.  Rep. Dent has sponsored and supported bills that benefit aviation and has fought hard to defeat bills that have a negative effect on aviation.  He now leads the monthly Aviation Caucus meetings. WAMA feel fortunate to have Rep. Dent serving in our state.

Member of the Year Award:
To Paul Wolf, State Airport Manager for WSDOT/Aviation.  Paul has been a consistent factor in tending the 14 state-run airports in Washington for many years.  Thanks to his leadership and involvement in managing these airports, the pilots of Washington can count on these state airports being in top shape during the flying season.  Paul's hard work has not gone unnoticed.  Thank you, Paul Wolf!

Project of the Year: 
To the Port of Benton.  The Port of Benton not only completed a $3,156,583 project to replace the entire runway and taxiway electrical system at the Richland Airport, but kept in constant communication with the flying community, providing weekly alerts when portions of the runway or taxiways would be closed, and providing graphic details and maps of which areas were still open for operations.  The project began in July of 2022 and was completed on time in November of 2022.  It was a tremendous project, and the communication was outstanding. The Port of Benton showed just how a large, complicated project should be addressed with the public.

Scholarship and Grant Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2023 WAMA Scholarships and Grants!

The Professional Education Grant was awarded to Shelby Barrett from Yakima Air Terminal.

Auburn Municipal Airport received the Internship Grant.  Ellie Lichti, a recent graduate from Central Washington University will be starting her internship with Auburn in June.

The Community Education Grant went to Cate Anderson from the Children’s Museum of Skagit County.  She plans to use the grant to install a real airplane in which children can manipulate flaps, ailerons, rudders and the control wheel to learn how the controls operate. 

Letter from the President

Dear colleagues,

I want to begin by thanking you all for allowing me to represent the Washington Airport Management Association (WAMA) in 2023 as President. It is a great honor and privilege to represent the fine group of professionals that are stewards of Washington State Airports.

WAMA has been instrumental in my career and management of the Chehalis-Centralia Airport. To be able to repay this by taking on this responsibility is incredible. I know if you are not yet a member and are considering joining, you will not regret it. If you are an existing member who has assisted or encouraged me in the past, I am indebted.

Since the early days of aviation, Washington State has been home to an innovative hub for aviation. I believe we have the opportunity and responsibility to help keep it that way. The WAMA Mission Statement says, “Our mission is to strengthen airports and airport management in Washington State by fostering professionalism among airport operators.” I can say without a doubt this group effectively does that every day. We do this as individuals and collectively.

With that being said, we have some challenges as stewards of airports coming up. We have rising costs, labor shortages, and increased legislation that can all negatively impact our airports. This is where WAMA can excel. We can provide tools and support to our colleagues and help Washington airports thrive in the next chapter of aviation we are writing today.

Thank you all again for this honor, and let’s work together to make the Washington Airport Management Association an example for other states to follow. If you are not already a member, please join us. Receive the benefits of the knowledge and experience of your peers, but also become a resource for others to learn from. I look forward to seeing you all in the coming year.


Brandon Rakes
Airport Director, Chehalis-Centralia Airport
WAMA Board President


Highlights from recent WAYPOINTS. For the full version of the latest edition, click here.

A note from AOPA Northwest Mountain Regional Manager, Brad Schuster:  Unless otherwise advised, it appears that ESHB 1554 is officially dead. I just wanted to thank this audience for your collective and tireless efforts to help defeat this very bad bill; it was definitely a WA state aviation community team effort and I genuinely believe it took all of our respective organizations and associated members to make this happen.  A special thanks as well to Rep. Dent for spending both time and political capital to help get this bill killed.

Thank you to all of our sponsors, JUB, DOWL, Paine Field Snohomish County, CivilAir Engineers PLLC, Precision Approach Engineering, Applied Pavement Technology, Walla Walla Regional Airport, Arlington Municipal Airport and the City of Arlington, Century West Engineering, The Port of Skagit, and Morrison-Maierle for sponsoring the biweekly Waypoints news bulletin. Your support means so much to us.


Upcoming Events

May 06, 2024 • Muckleshoot Casino, Auburn, WA

Airport Management Q&A (click here)

Washington State Aviation Alliance (WSAA): Visit their website at http://www.wsaa.aero
WAMA Member Airports - Click to Enlarge

Washington State Airport Restaurants

(click here to download)

Warren Hendrickson has compiled an informal list of Washington State/PNW Airport Restaurant List (updated spring 2023) which includes additional pages for nearby Oregon (both east and west of the Cascades) and Idaho airports. This list is not complete and we ask that if you have suggestions or recommendations for restaurants at or serving your airport, please feel free to send your suggestions or recommendations to Warren Hendrickson, at: wbhendrickson@comcast.net.  He will continue to update the list as time allows. The list is primarily intended for use by pilots as they fly around the area. Perhaps providing everyone with an additional reason to visit your airport!

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