Town hall meeting about Paine Field is Thursday

MUKILTEO — A state lawmaker opposed to commercial passenger flights at Paine Field is hosting a town hall meeting Thursday to discuss the airport’s future.

Rep. Marko Liias of Mukilteo is scheduled to be joined at Mukilteo City Hall by Rep. Helen Roberts and Sen Paull Shin, both of Edmonds, and Snohomish County and city government officials.

The town hall will be an opportunity to hear what people think, Liias said.

“We want to help connect them to the people who will be making decisions,” Liias said.

According to his Web site, the panelists will take questions from those attending.

They will also deliver an update on current efforts to block the expansion of the airport and discuss possible effects that commercial aviation could have on Boeing Co.’s jumbo jet factory and other industrial tenants at the airport.

Opponents complain that expanding the airport will drive down property values, increase noise and environmental pollution and snarl traffic.

Others view expanding the airport as an economic development opportunity in the county and as a more convenient alternative for travelers than Sea-Tac International Airport. Fly Paine Field, an advocacy group in favor of opening up Paine Field to commercial flights, doesn’t plan to have representatives at the meeting.

“We just decided to let them have their own little party,” said Greg Tisdel, who is co-chairman of the group.

The Everett City Council, which remained silent on the issue for years, in September passed a resolution supporting scheduled commercial flights at Paine Field.

The majority of the Snohomish County Council and County Executive Aaron Reardon, opposes commercial passenger flights at Paine Field — although they say they will negotiate lease agreements in good faith with airlines interested in using the airport.

Mukilteo and Edmonds and other communities are funding an effort to block efforts to bring commercial flights to the airport.

Sea-Tac-based regional carrier Horizon Air in October announced that it wants to offer daily round-trip flights between Paine Field and Portland, Ore., and Spokane before this summer. The sister company of Alaska Airlines became the second airline in 2008 to express interest in flying from the county-owned airport.

In May, Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air also announced plans to offer regular service between Paine Field and Las Vegas.

Reporter David Chircop: 425-339-3429 or

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