A $25.6 million Paine Field facility for Dreamlifters?

  • Monday, February 13, 2012 6:53pm

EVERETT — The Boeing Co. and Snohomish County plan to enter into a construction and lease agreement to build a $25.6 million operations center for the company’s fleet of 747 Dreamlifters at Paine Field.

The company uses the oversized jumbo jets to ferry assemblies for 787 Dreamliner jets from around the world to final assembly in Everett and at Boeing’s site in North Charleston, S.C.

The Snohomish County Council authorized County Executive Aaron Reardon to enter into a pre-development agreement with Boeing on Feb. 13. Airport Director Dave Waggoner said there is still much work left to do.

“We want to provide a facility that Boeing needs, and we’re working on that,” he said.

The agreement would obligate the county to pay for construction of the facility with general-obligation bonds, then rent the building to Boeing. The rent would pay off the debt.

The pre-development agreement also states that the county and Boeing will contract with an engineering firm for design, construction management and permitting. That’s estimated to cost about $3.5 million, for which Boeing will reimburse Snohomish County.

The new Dreamlifter Operations Center would be located on 16 acres in an area south of the Future of Flight Aviation Center at Paine Field. It would include three stalls for Boeing 747 Dreamlifters, 25,000 square feet of warehouse space, 10,000 square feet of office space and an aviation refueling station.

“A dedicated Dreamlifter facility will allow for more efficient operations as the 787 program reaches full production rate,” wrote Makamae Masuda of Boeing communications, in an email Feb. 13.

Boeing is increasing production of the 787, with a planned rate of 10 jets monthly by the end of 2013. The company currently is building at a rate of about 2.5 aircraft per month.

Construction could begin on the Dreamlifter Operations Center as early as this summer, with the project being completed by spring 2013, according to a county report.

Herald reporter Noah Haglund contributed to this report.