EVERETT, Wash. -- A New York City company has made an offer to build a new terminal for commercial flights at Paine Field in Everett.
Propeller Airports has submitted a letter of intent to county officials for a two-gate terminal, and says two airlines have serious interest in beginning service to regional destinations.
The move clears, perhaps, the biggest hurdle yet for advocates of commercial flight in Snohomish County.
The proposal calls for Propeller Airports to pay for the cost of constructing a terminal and parking amenities, while paying rent to Snohomish County.
The Federal Aviation Administration approved commercial passenger flights from Paine Field in 2012, potentially transforming the general-aviation airport into a competitor to Sea-Tac Airport. The FAA environmental study allows for four weekly flights by Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air and 14 weekly flights by Alaska Airlines.
Propeller would not confirm if Allegiant or Alaska were among those still interested in Everett. Alaska has said it is no longer considering commercial flights from Paine Field.
Opponents to commercial flights at Paine Field are set to argue their case before a panel of judges at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday. The city of Mukilteo is leading the charge against the FAA study that concluded that noise, traffic and pollution from commercial jets would not harm nearby communities.
County council members will be next to consider the new proposal. It could be months before an official vote is scheduled.
Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson released the following statement on Tuesday:
“The June 16 letter from Propeller Airports to Snohomish County expressing interest in bringing limited commercial service to Paine Field represents a positive step for greater economic development and consumer choice. The regional flight service being contemplated would be less than one percent of Paine Field's total air traffic, but give our residents access to cities across the Western states. In addition, service to Paine Field would leverage the key investments in the aviation industry that support so much of our local economy.
Propeller is planning to use private financing to create an accountable and effective public-private partnership. After years of debate, it's time to take advantage of this opportunity and move forward with a plan that helps our economy, builds on our aviation foundation, and provides easier access to air travel."