A speaker gets thumbs up during a Federal Aviation Administration hearing at the Lynnwood Convention Center on Monday about passenger service at Paine Field. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

A speaker gets thumbs up during a Federal Aviation Administration hearing at the Lynnwood Convention Center on Monday about passenger service at Paine Field. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Everett airline service gets one last airing, pro and con

The FAA’s required hearing on the impact of commercial flights at Paine Field was held Monday night.

LYNNWOOD — Passenger service at Paine Field received a public airing Monday night at a Federal Aviation Administration hearing, and the crowd was contentious, with proponents and opponents raising familiar arguments.

The information session and public hearing on the impact of commercial airline service in Everett drew more than 150 participants at the Lynnwood Convention Center. It was one of a series of required steps to certify the airport for airline use.

The agency is seeking comment on a supplemental environmental assessment it released last month. Alaska Airlines, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines have proposed a combined 24 flights per day to cities throughout the West from Everett.

The draft report found no significant issues that need to be addressed, which could clear the way for service to begin early in 2019. The report’s finding, however, is not final, and it didn’t stop area residents from questioning its scope, especially the conclusions related to noise and traffic.

During public testimony, Les Nelson, of Mukilteo, called the report “incomplete.” It didn’t properly address noise issues beyond the airport, he said.

John Spittle, of Lynnwood, urged the airport and the FAA to create a noise abatement program “like at Sea-Tac.”

Others criticized the study for failing to take into account the likelihood of reduced property values because of increased noise and traffic.

“It’s naive to believe that it’s only going to be 24 planes a day and smaller aircraft — there’s going to be more jets … It’s only going to get worse,” said Nate Raring, who said he lives near Brier. “The jets are already loud. It wakes us up in the middle of the night.”

Still others called for a more comprehensive study that would be accomplished by a more-involved environmental impact statement.

“I know it takes longer and more money, but I think we’d be a lot safer and better for it,” said Guy Fleischer, of Brier.

Airport supporters also had their say.

“This airport opens up a lot of opportunity for the area,” said Don Amor, of Mukilteo.

Direct impacts include “visitor spending” and “business transactions” that benefit the community, Amor said, adding: “We cannot avoid change.”

Patrick Pierce, CEO of Economic Alliance Snohomish County, said the advent of passenger flights would “bolster the economy.”

Before the two-hour hearing, staff from Environmental Science Associates, the firm hired by the three airlines to conduct the environmental study, answered questions about the report.

The largest and most vocal crowds gathered around the posters illustrating the impacts of noise and traffic. The study’s traffic studies were done by Gibson Traffic Associates.

Steve Alverson, of Environmental Science Associates, explains the comparison of airplanes that will be landing at Paine Field to Marjie Field prior to a Federal Aviation Administration hearing at the Lynnwood Convention Center on Monday. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Steve Alverson, of Environmental Science Associates, explains the comparison of airplanes that will be landing at Paine Field to Marjie Field prior to a Federal Aviation Administration hearing at the Lynnwood Convention Center on Monday. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Everett-based Propeller Airports is nearing completion of a two-gate terminal and has invested some $40 million in the 30,000-square-foot building on the east side of the airport, near the control tower.

Sometime after the public comment period, the FAA is expected to issue a decision ratifying the report’s findings or requiring more scrutiny.

There is no “set time for the final decision,” FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer said Monday. “Each is different, depending upon the complexity of the situation.”

Before any decision is issued, Environmental Science Associates and other firms that prepared the report must respond to every comment and publish the answers. Those responses will be added to the draft and be available for viewing on Paine Field’s website, www.painefield.com. Written comments will be accepted through Friday at painefield@esassoc.com.

Comments also can be mailed to the firm at Environmental Science Associates; Paine Field Supplemental EA; 5309 Shilshole Ave. NW, Suite 200; Seattle, WA 98107.

The draft environmental assessment can be viewed at the county’s Paine Field website; at the Paine Field administrative office; and at public libraries in Everett, Mukilteo and Lynnwood.

There has been community opposition to passenger service at Paine Field in the past, with increased noise and auto traffic cited most frequently as concerns. The city of Mukilteo and an organization called Save Our Communities unsuccessfully sued to block airline service. Litigation ended in 2017.

Janice Podsada; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

Streateries dot the streets of downtown Edmonds Wednesday afternoon on December 8, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Are ‘streateries’ here to stay in Edmonds? Survey says yes

Outdoor dining structures were a lifesaver during the pandemic. Many business owners want to keep them. Others are over it.

Everett Community College's Dennis Skarr sits in front of a 15-foot interactive wall that can replicate a manufacturing company's assembly line, hardware, software and networks on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021 in Everett, Washington. A class taught by Skarr focuses on cyber threats against manufacturers, pipelines, water treatment systems and electrical grids.(Andy Bronson / The Herald)
At EvCC, ‘The Wall’ teaches students how to thwart cyber crime

The Everett college is first in the nation to have a tool that can model cyber attacks aimed at vital infrastructure.

Prison and a $273K bill for Snohomish insurance agent’s fraud

Vicki Boser, 58, was sentenced Tuesday to two years in federal prison. She was also ordered to repay clients.

Carpenters from America and Switzerland build the first "modular home" made from cross-laminated timber, inside a warehouse on Marine View Drive on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021 in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Affordable housing’s future? Innovative home built in Everett

Swiss and American carpenters built the nation’s first “modular home” made of cross-laminated timber.

The Lab@Everett director Diane Kamionka stands outside the Lab's new home at the Angel of the Winds Arena on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021 in Everett, Washington. When Everett Community College tore down the Broadway mall to make room for its new Cascade Resource Learning Center, The Lab@everett, a business accelerator, also succumbed to the bulldozer. However, the city of Everett found a new home for the TheLab, which serves entrepreneurs and startups: the Angel of the Winds Arena. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Everett business incubator finds a sporty new home

TheLab@everett, an innovation center for entrepreneurs, has relocated to Angel of the Winds Arena.

An illustration of the TerraPower Natrium nuclear-power plant planned for Kemmerer, Wyoming. (TerraPower) 20211201
TerraPower plans to build demo nuclear reactor in Wyoming

The firm, which operates a research facility in Everett, is developing an electricity-generating plant.

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson speaks to lawmakers as Michael Stumo, holding a photo of his daughter Samya Rose Stumo, and his wife Nadia Milleron, sit behind him during a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing on the implementation of aviation safety reform at the US Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021. Samya Stumo was among those killed in a Boeing 737 Max 8 crash in 2019. (AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades)
Democrats push FAA for action against certain Boeing 737 Max employees

Rep. Rick Larsen co-signed the letter stating concerns over the “absence of rigorous accountability.”

Double Barrel owner Lionel Madriz places a wine sale sign outside of his business on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021 in Snohomish, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Job-seekers today are choosy, forcing employers to adapt

If they even show up, prospective employees are calling the shots. First question: What’s the pay?

Local aero firms get $4.5 million from feds to protect jobs

Federal Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Program grants were awarded to six Snohomish County employers.

FILE - In this June 12, 2017, file photo, a Boeing 787 airplane being built for Norwegian Air Shuttle is shown at Boeing Co.'s assembly facility, in Everett, Wash. Boeing is dealing with a new production problem involving its 787 jet, in which inspections have found flaws in the way that sections of the rear of the plane were joined together. Boeing said Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, it's not an immediate safety risk but could cause the planes to age prematurely. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
FAA memo reveals more Boeing 787 manufacturing defects

The company said the problems do not present an immediate safety-of-flight issue.

Homes in The Point subdivision border the construction of the Go East Corp. landfill on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Mudslide briefly stalls housing project at former Everett landfill

The slide buried two excavators in September. Work has resumed to make room for nearly 100 new houses.

Ameé Quiriconi, Snohomish author, podcaster and entrepreneur.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Snohomish author’s handbook charts a course for female entrepreneurs

She’s invented sustainable concrete, run award-winning wedding venues and worked in business… Continue reading