As local real estate professionals, we’ve been following what seemed like the endless saga that is commercial air service at Snohomish County’s Paine Field Airport. With a couple months under our belt, we’re interested in hearing about your experiences and thoughts so far. Have you flown from Paine Field? Have you noticed an increase in traffic and noise associated with the addition of commercial service? Whatever your take, we’re interested in learning how it is impacting you. We welcome your feedback via our website at: livein425.com/airportfeedback
A life-long resident of the Mukilteo-area (I grew up on Sound Avenue), the airport has been in my backyard for nearly four-decades. As a kid, I spent many a day at Paine Field with my grandfather, Jerry Straub, helping his friend Ben Hall restore an F-86 Fighter Jet. I can remember sitting on my dad’s shoulders when the SR-72 Blackbird roared to landing during an airshow. My dad and some of his friends would participate in crazy (and as a kid-extremely cool!) stunts, like holding a large banner on either side of the runway while an upside-down airplane would fly by and “scoop” it up with its tail. Needless to say, I’ve had an affinity for planes all my life.
Fast forward a few decades, and now my own family, including our four-year-old-son, live in the Goat Trail neighborhood. We hear air traffic daily. Some loud (the Dreamlifter), others that defy physics (again, the Dreamlifter), and on summer weekends—some that make one feel as if we’re reliving WWII.
During a recent back-yard conversation with longtime family friend Dan Bovey, who lives just off the Mukilteo Boulevard, an Alaska Airlines Embraer 175 jet flew overhead. “Sure, we’ve noticed a few more jets flying by, but you can’t beat the convenience. And we’ve heard that as the flights become more popular, they’ll start flying the quieter Boeing 737,” Dan remarked. Dan and his wife Joyce own a second home in the Phoenix-area, so Alaska’s flights into Sky Harbor mean less time on the road and more time spent enjoying life.
Dan isn’t the only one that sees positive benefits to commercial air service. Scott Crownover, a former Mukilteo resident and CEO of Skagit Horticulture, shared, “Attracting top-tier talent and companies to Snohomish and Skagit counties means having top-tier transportation options and amenities."
"Paine Field is forty-minutes from our office. Sea-Tac can take over two-hours. Any company or executive level employee is going to look at our area differently now. This will undoubtedly create more opportunity for local job growth,” continued Crownover, who travels frequently between company locations in Eastern Washington and California.
But there are those that recognize that the benefits will be tempered by additional noise and traffic impacts. Mukilteo Mayor, Jennifer Gregerson, notes, “We’ve already had some residents share their concerns over the increase in air traffic noise. Before commercial air service, flights were sporadic, so people didn’t notice it as much. With consistent flights leaving at different times of the day, the frequency is much more noticeable.”
At the same time that Gregerson has heard complaints, she has also heard from residents balancing the convenience of flights with the impacts.
“While commercial service is now here, we still have a duty to listen to local residents, report feedback to airport and FAA authorities, and work hard to mitigate impacts to the residents of Everett, Mukilteo, Lynnwood, Edmonds and others that may be affected. Just because something is here, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be managed appropriately,” Gregerson adds.
I couldn’t agree more with Dan, Scott, and Jennifer. Passenger air service is here. I've flown out of Paine Field and it’s a wonderful experience. But that doesn’t mean Paine should become SeaTac north. Unbridled growth could definitely impact quality of life throughout
The county agrees. Snohomish County Councilman Brian Sullivan puts it best, “What gets measured gets managed. We will continue to measure resident feedback, noise levels, traffic counts, airport revenue, economic development data, and more as we analyze and look at how we manage Paine Field’s future.”
How has Paine Field’s addition of Commercial Air Service impacted you? Have you benefited from the convenience, destinations, and first-class experience? Are noise impacts, traffic, or other factors causing you concern? Share your thoughts with us at: livein425.com/airportfeedback