A passenger takes photo from one of the glass jet bridges while boarding a plane on the first day of Paine Field passenger service March 4 in Everett. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

A passenger takes photo from one of the glass jet bridges while boarding a plane on the first day of Paine Field passenger service March 4 in Everett. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Everett passenger terminal has new investors: public workers

The retirement funds of the Washington State Investment Board now have a stake in Propeller Airports.

EVERETT — The state board that manages retirement funds for firefighters, teachers, police and other public employees has invested in Paine Field’s new passenger terminal through its operator, Everett-based Propeller Airports.

The Washington State Investment Board is partnering with Global Infrastructure Partners, which made the investment and will manage it, according to a joint news release.

The value of the investment was not immediately disclosed.

Global, a New York-based investment firm, manages more than $51 billion in funds. It has a major stakes in Gatwick Airport, the second-busiest in the United Kingdom, and Edinburgh Airport in Scotland.

The Investment Board manages $140 billion in assets and 17 retirement plans for public employees, executive director Theresa Whitmarsh said.

“We recognize the value of investing in the vital services provided by this Paine Field passenger terminal project,” Whitmarsh said.

Privately held Propeller Airports built and operates the passenger terminal under a lease agreement with the airport owner, Snohomish County.

“Having GIP, one the world’s foremost infrastructure players, join us as an investor in Paine Field further validates the fact that this project is going to continue to be an enormous economic success, and properly positions us for the future,” said Propeller’s CEO, Brett Smith.

“We are pleased that they’re making this investment on behalf of thousands of great, hard-working Washington public servants,” he said.

Said Global’s chairman and managing partner, Adebayo Ogunlesi: “We believe that Paine Field is one of the most exciting new airport developments in the United States and are impressed with Brett Smith and Propeller Airports’ focus on high quality passenger experience coupled with serving the community’s needs.”

Since the two-gate terminal opened in March, it has served more than 600,000 passengers, Smith said.

Combined, Alaska Airlines and United Airlines are capped by the Federal Aviation Administration at 24 departures and 24 arrivals per day at Paine Field. Alaska has 18 departures and United has six.

Alaska’s current Everett destinations are Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orange County, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose. In November it will begin offering service to Palm Springs, California, and Spokane.

United serves its hubs in San Francisco and Denver.

The state investment Board posted a return rate of 8.36% for the fiscal year ending June 30, according to the board’s most recent report.

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

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