EVERETT, Wash. — Since it opened one year ago, the passenger terminal at Paine Field airport in Snohomish County has become the darling of the airport industry.
It has won numerous awards for its laid back style, local food, and convenience. They even put out fresh flowers every day.
Those are just some of the many selling points that keep Cindy Killian of Oak Harbor coming back.
"There's not another airport I've been to that's as nice or easy or comfortable as this," she said.
"That's why we're gonna try to do all our traveling from here in the future," said her husband Rich. "It's just a great experience."
As it celebrates its one-year anniversary, the terminal also welcomed its one-millionth flier.
Over the past year, airport CEO Brett Smith said the Snohomish County location has saved an estimated half-a-million people from the 40-mile trek to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Right now, the airport is operating at full capacity. The number of flights are capped at 24 take-offs and 24 landings per day.
Smith said there are no plans to expand, at least not for now.
"People were fearful this was going to be a 'Sea-Tac North,'" he said. "That's never going to happen, at least not in my lifetime."
Smith said he'd like to see Alaska and United Airlines start flying larger planes to allow more people the opportunity to use the airport. That's something that has been hampered by Boeing's 737 MAX crisis.
Larger planes, however, could bring more noise, which has been an issue for some living nearby.
Smith said he hears their concerns.
"It's about listening. We listen to the people who call and complain. It's not just about what we want."
Smith expects at least a million more passengers to use Paine Field over the year to come.
United Airlines recently dropped two flights to San Francisco from its daily departures. The destinations that will replace those two flights have not been decided. Smith said he would love to see Hawaii on the itinerary.