Mukilteo seeks others in fight against Paine Field flights

Mukilteo has made official its plan to appeal a decision by the federal government to allow regular passenger flights at Paine Field — and other cities could join their fight.

The Mukilteo City Council voted 7-0 on Monday to file an appeal in federal court.

“There really wasn’t much discussion,” City Council President Richard Emery said. “I think all the council members are pretty well aware of what this could mean to Mukilteo.”

Allegiant Air in 2008 proposed offering four flights per week from Paine Field and increase to 20 over five years. Horizon Air of Seattle asked to offer 140 commuter flights per week from the airport. Altogether, this would amount to 23 flights per day, starting in 2018, at the earliest.

The Federal Aviation Administration determined Dec. 4 that this number of flights would not significantly increase noise, traffic or pollution in nearby communities.

Mukilteo and other opponents contend that even a small number of flights would open the door to many more, a scenario not addressed in the FAA study.

Supporters of flights, including the city of Everett and members of the Snohomish County business community, say flights would help the local economy and provide convenience for travelers.

Anyone who wants to appeal the FAA’s decision has until Feb. 2 to take its paperwork to court. Mukilteo won’t file its appeal right away, Mayor Joe Marine said.

He said he’s talked to mayors in south Snohomish County about adding their cities’ names to the appeal. City councils in Edmonds, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace have in the past approved motions opposing regular passenger service at the airport.

In Edmonds, any decision on joining the lawsuit will have to be made by the council, Mayor Dave Earling said.

He said he won’t make a recommendation to the council one way or the other.

“I think I’ll leave it in the council’s hands,” Earling said. “The city has spoken strongly before. We have a resolution in place.”

Lynnwood Mayor Don Gough and Mountlake Terrace Mayor Jerry Smith could not be reached for comment.

Marine said Mukilteo is not necessarily looking for financial help with the suit, “but we wouldn’t turn it down,” he said.

Mukilteo has set aside $150,000 for fighting commercial flights at the airport, Emery said. He said he expects this to cover legal expenses for the appeal, adding that circumstances could change.

The city has hired attorney Barbara Lichman of Irvine, Calif. As a resident of nearby Newport Beach — a well-to-do coastline city not unlike Mukilteo and Edmonds — Lichman battled nearby John Wayne Airport over noise issues for several years. She parlayed that experience into a career in aviation law.

Meanwhile, Snohomish County, owner and operator of Paine Field, must conduct its own environmental study under state guidelines. The primary remaining issue to address is the building of a small terminal.

The county plans to hire a consultant to run that study but probably won’t begin the process until January, said Peter Camp, an executive director for the county.

Once the study begins it will take about six months, he estimated. The study may proceed concurrently with any legal action, Camp said.

Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; sheets@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

These little piggies stay home

Norman, who was spotted last week in Everett, is part of a trio kept as pets by the “pig whisperer.”

Ian Terry / The Herald Westbound cars merge from Highway 204 and 20th Street Southeast onto the trestle during the morning commute on Thursday, March 30 in Lake Stevens. Photo taken on 03302017
Heavy traffic on toll idea to help fund a new U.S. 2 trestle

A GOP lawmaker’s chart shows theoretical toll rates of up to $6.30 to cross the trestle one-way.

Woman, 47, found dead in Marysville jail cell

She’d been in custody about four days after being arrested on warrants, police said.

Teen murder suspect captured — then escapes and is recaptured

The 16-year-old is one of at least three young suspects in the shooting death of an Everett woman.

Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital accepting adolescent patients

The facility is the first mental heallth unit in the county to offer in-patient services for children.

Leanne Smiciklas, the friendly lady who served customers of her husband’s Old School Barbeque from a schoolbus parked in front of the Reptile Zoo east of Monroe, has died at 64. (Dan Bates / Herald file)
Without her, beloved BBQ hotspot in Monroe can’t go on

Leanne Smiciklas, who ran the now-closed Old School BBQ along Highway 2 with her husband, died.

Jamie Copeland is a senior at Cedar Park Christian Schools’ Mountlake Terrace campus. She is a basketball player, ASB president, cheerleader and, of course, a Lion. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Cedar Park Christian senior stepping up to new challenges

Jamie Copeland’s academics include STEM studies, leadership, ASB activities, honor society.

Mill Creek’s Donna Michelson ready to retire at year’s end

The city’s longest-serving council member says she has every intention of staying involved.

Most Read