An Alaska Airlines plane pulls up to the gate at Paine Field last summer. (Sue Misao / Herald file)

An Alaska Airlines plane pulls up to the gate at Paine Field last summer. (Sue Misao / Herald file)

Paine Field terminal to close for 71 days of ramp repairs

Alaska is down to one departure per day due to the coronavirus outbreak’s effect on travel.

EVERETT — With few travelers and few flights, the new passenger terminal at Paine Field will take a breather and close temporarily.

The terminal will suspend operations from May 22 to July 31 to complete gate ramp repairs and maintenance, officials said Friday.

“We are going to use this temporary disruption to the advantage of Paine Field and our airline partners by completing necessary infrastructure improvements faster than we would have been able to while the terminal was open and flight operations were taking place,” said Brett Smith, CEO of Propeller Airports.

Propeller, a private company, owns and operates the terminal through a lease agreement with Snohomish County, which owns the airport. The company will pay for the repairs to the pavement on the aircraft side of the terminal, Smith said.

The 71-day closure is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration and has the support of Alaska Airlines and United Airlines, which share the terminal, he said.

Smith said repairs and maintenance had been scheduled to be completed gradually over a four-month period. But with only one or two scheduled daily flights, closing will allow repairs to be completed in less time.

During the closure, Alaska will not have any flights arriving or departing Paine Field. The Seattle-based carrier will accommodate travelers affected by the closure, including re-booking their travel through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the airline said.

As of Friday, Alaska operates just one flight a day from Everett. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Alaska had 18 daily departures to 10 destinations from Everett.

Said Matthew Shelby, Alaska’s managing director of airport real estate, in a statement Friday: “The airport has a unique opportunity to consolidate and accelerate several smaller construction projects into a larger project that will ultimately impact fewer passengers for a shorter period of time. Because much of the work is safety related and otherwise highly impactful to the operation, we can appreciate why they would want to do this now, at a time when traffic is down and that impact is greatly reduced.”

United Airlines also has reduced the number of daily flights to Denver, according to Flightradar24, which monitors air traffic around the world.

United Airlines spokesman Jonathan Guerin said the airline is suspending service between Paine Field and Denver through July. “We plan to resume service once construction at the airport has been completed,” Guerin said.

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said in a statement Friday, “With the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on travel, this necessary construction work can be done much more quickly now. Propeller is a good partner with Snohomish County, and we support their efforts to get this work done with minimal impact on the public. We look forward to travel resuming and the continuing success of the Paine Field terminal.”

The Everett passenger terminal opened in 2019 and served more than a million travelers by the time it celebrated its one-year anniversary in March.

When service resumes, Smith said, he expects service to resume with 24 daily departures, the federal limit.

“The travel industry has never faced an economic challenge of this magnitude,” Smith said.

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

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

Views of the Riverfront development on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019 in Everett, Wa. The Riverfront Redevelopment consists of three different large sections all owned by Polygon Homes. All three sections run North to South along the Snohomish river (just East of 41st street), and range from around 40-70 acres each. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Riverfront construction could start soon — without a cinema

The pandemic’s effects on movie theaters have delayed some work at the 70-acre Everett development.

Chai Cupboard is a new loose tea and spice shop downtown, owned by Jeni Ellis and husband Tim, on Thursday, April 22, 2021 in Everett, Washington. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
New downtown Everett store offers loose tea and spices

Bring your tea caddy or spice jar: Chai Cupboard carries more than 100 teas and 100 spices.

FILE - In this Monday, March 1, 2021 file photo, The first Alaska Airlines passenger flight on a Boeing 737-9 Max airplane takes off on a flight to San Diego from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle. Many new Boeing 737 Max jetliners are still grounded by an electrical problem in a backup power-control unit. The Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday, April 22, 2021 that 106 planes worldwide are grounded, including 71 in the United States. Airlines are waiting for Boeing to come up with a plan for repairing the planes, and that plan would need FAA approval. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Halt to 737 Max deliveries stymies Boeing’s recovery effort

So far in 2021, the company has delivered 94 jets and won 84 net new orders.

Highland Simulant, a simulated lunar soil made by Off Planet Research, pours from a researcher's hands. Photo credit: Off Planet Research
Space company makes a soft landing at the Port of Everett

Off Planet Research creates simulated lunar soils here, so that moon landers can touch down gently.

Owners Krista and Eric Brown sit among rows of wines at The Grape & Grain, a new independent beer and wine store on Evergreen Way, on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
New Everett wine and beer shop focuses on local brands

The Grape & Grain store offers wine and beer from “our backyard” — Washington, Oregon and California.

Students use a modular skills trainer during class Thursday morning at Edmonds Community College on April 29, 2021.
(Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Nurses Week, from May 6- 12, honors the nation’s caregivers

Local nursing students and faculty say they couldn’t let the pandemic get in the way of their goals.

The Waterfront Place Apartments north building at the Port of Everett’s Waterfront Place cold see residents moving in by May 15. on Thursday, April 22, 2021 in Everett, Washington. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Now playing at the Port of Everett: sudden density

New Waterfront Place Apartments open May 15 at the port — local retailers welcome the influx.

Indian drink condiments cartoon vector illustration. Traditional beverage flavourings in wooden bowls flat color object. Tea additives, hot drink ingredients isolated on white background
You voted: The best Indian food in Snohomish County

Even during a pandemic, people still have their favorites.

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2019, file photo, people stand in the lobby for Amazon offices in New York. Amazon, which has been under pressure from shoppers, brands and lawmakers to crack down on counterfeits on its site, said Monday, May 10, 2021, that it blocked more than 10 billion suspected phony listings last year before any of their offerings could be sold. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Amazon blocked 10 billion listings in counterfeit crackdown

Scammers tried to take advantage of shoppers who were buying more online during the pandemic.

A Mexican tacos food truck, people ordering and waiting their takeaway food
You voted: The best food truck in Snohomish County

Even during a pandemic, people still have their favorites.

One of the Jetty Island ferry captains waits for boarders as the ferry begins operations for the summer on Wednesday, Jul. 6, 2016 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Port, county to pay Everett for Jetty Island ferry this year

The Port of Everett and Snohomish County plan to make an online system for $3 reservations.

Boeing crash victims’ families push for changes at FAA

Hundreds are demanding the ouster of the agency’s administrator, Stephen Dickson, and others.