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Commercial airport at Everett’s Paine Field breaks ground

The public-private partnership will serve Alaska flights in a year

Paine Field in 2014.
Joseph Gruber/Flickr

There’s currently one major, public airport running commercial flights out of Seattle, and it’s about 13 miles south of downtown in SeaTac. But in a year, there will be another, albeit smaller, option to the north: A public-private airport at Everett’s Paine Field.

The airport, which broke ground on Monday, will open in about a year and will be built by Propeller Airports. Alaska Airlines already plans on running nine departures a day from Everett—the majority of the airport’s 16-flight capacity.

It will be a whole lot smaller than SeaTac, with just two gates, but that appears to be translating into a far less hectic experience.

Renderings of the passenger terminal released last year show warm, exposed-beam, wooden ceilings; wide, plush chairs; and even brick fireplaces—although Propeller has since switched gears to a more “midcentury modern look.”

An older rendering of the Paine Field passenger terminal. They have since decided to not go for the “lodge” look.
Courtesy of Propeller Airports and Fentress

While the project’s been in the planning stages for more than a year, it received its permit from Snohomish County in April. Conversations about Paine serving commercial flights have spanned decades, but more recently, negotiations with Allegiant Air, which serves Bellingham, to serve Paine fell through in 2013.

Currently, Paine is home to private hangars and Boeing’s Everett factory.

Paine Field is a little farther from the downtown core than SeaTac, and there’s definitely not any light rail running through it. But for people in the north side of the metro that fly Alaska—and definitely for people already in Snohomish County—it could be a dream come true.