Washington officials are stepping up efforts to convince the Boeing Co. to build the new 777X jet in the Puget Sound by pursuing a statewide designation that was created by the Legislature more than 15 years ago, but never used.
Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday he has directed the Department of Commerce to designate the expansion of Boeing’s Everett plant as a “project of statewide significance,” which would expedite the permitting process.
The 1997 law says that certain projects “merit special designation and treatment by governmental bodies” if those projects “bolster the economies of their locale and impact the economy of the state as a whole.”
Inslee said he “can’t imagine a project that has more significance to the entire state of Washington” than the fabrication of the 777X jet and its parts.
In May, Boeing began offering the new plane to airlines, but it has not committed to a location to build the major components and assemble it.
The same month Inslee announced a “game plan” to win the 777X project. Among other things, the plan called for the Legislature to approve funding for major transportation projects, including Interstate 405, the 520 bridge, State Routes 167 and 509, and the Columbia River Crossing.
The Legislature adjourned in June without taking action on a proposed transportation funding plan that would have paid for major transportation projects.
Read Inslee’s full press release here.