EVERETT, Wash. — Finally.
After delays from an FAA review and a 3-week government shutdown, Paine Field will open Monday to commercial flights.
“It’s a historic moment for Snohomish County,” said Ryan Crowther, who lives in Everett and has a ticket for one of the first flights out of the Snohomish County Airport on Monday.
Crowther bought a ticket for the 10:30 a.m. flight to Las Vegas to simply be a part of history.
“That’s the fun of it. I really have no interest in going to Vegas on a Monday. But to be part of a first experience of walking through the terminal, being 10 minutes away from my house, and seeing the excitement, it’s worth it,” said Crowther.
There is a terminal dedication and ribbon-cutting scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on Monday.
Paine Field is also called the Snohomish County Airport, developed as part of a public-private partnership with Propeller Airports.
Alaska Airlines will also hold a ribbon-cutting outside the gate of its first flight at 9:15 a.m.
“We’re small, but I think people are going to be surprised when they walk in here,” said Brett Smith, CEO of Propeller Airports, who will operate the 2-gate terminal.
“It’s not your typical airport. Power at every seat, high speed internet throughout.”
Smith said he projects 1.2 million travelers will pass through Paine Field annually.
Some travelers who live nearby are relieved to have an airport close to home.
“I don’t have to fight my way through I-5 south, SR-99, go through the city,” said Matthew LaRocca, who lives in Edmonds and has a flight scheduled for March 20 out of Paine Field. “We’re flying out at 5 o’clock so we can leave and get there in 5 minutes, it’s really nice.”
The FAA completed its environmental review on February 20 and didn’t find any significant noise or traffic impacts from the 24-planned daily departures.
That review had been delayed due to the 3-week government shutdown.
There are currently nine destination cities from Paine Field: Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, Denver, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego.
United Airlines will begin commercial flights at Paine Field on March 31.