Friday, February 08, 2013

Commercial flights from Everett could boost business


Now that Alaska Airlines has presented the FAA with a proposed schedule for commercial flights out of Everett’s Paine Field, Snohomish County says it’s working on plans for a two-gate terminal.

In the first year of operations, Alaska proposes 14 weekly round-trip flights to Las Vegas, Honolulu and Maui, Hawaii and 21 weekly round-trip flights to Portland.

The plans also have local business owners preparing for an economic boost. Previous studies found that commercial flights would positively impact the local economy.

"We're losing out to Renton, Des Moines and Bellevue because of Sea0Tac Airport," said Tom Hoban, CEO and Founder of Coast Group of Companies in Everett. "This isn't a recruiting tool for aerospace businesses. There are lots of other businesses that need to be close to commercial air service.”

The Federal Aviation Administration recently approved flights at the airport following a three-year environmental study. The cities of Mukilteo and Edmonds, and community groups, have filed an appeal in federal court to challenge that decision.

Mukilteo mayor Joe Marine argues that commercial flight would put a strain on Boeing and the local aerospace industry that also shares the runway.

"Why aren't we expanding what we have," he said. "Why aren't we talking to more Boeing suppliers to come be right here. That's the economic driver.”

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