Company envisions about a dozen daily passenger flights at Paine

EVERETT — The company trying to build a passenger terminal at Paine Field turned in its first permit application to Snohomish County last week.

New York-based Propeller Airports still hopes to break ground later this year with flights starting toward the end of 2017.

That schedule depends on the success of its application for a grading permit, which is likely to take months to process. Documents submitted to the county June 6 describe a metal, glass and wood building “constructed with a Northwest lodge character.”

The terminal could handle up to 22 takeoffs and landings per day. Any expansion beyond that would require a separate approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.

“There are no plans for future additions or expansions related to this proposal at this time,” Propeller’s chief operating officer, Mark Reichin, wrote in the permitting documents.

Propeller last year reached an option-to-lease agreement with Snohomish County, which owns Paine Field.

The company has up to three years to design the terminal and perform environmental studies. Less than two years remain to get that work done.

Propeller in April released designs for the proposed terminal that were drawn up by Denver-based Fentress Architects.

The new building would stand about 30 feet tall with 29,000 square feet of interior space. It would include areas for check-in, security screening, waiting and boarding, along with concessions and baggage facilities.

The building would take shape next to the airport’s control tower. The 11-acre site at 3220 100th Street SW is now a surface parking lot and a metal pole-barn building, which would be demolished, according to the permit application.

The project would add more than 200 extra parking spaces for employees and passengers. Some existing lots would be reconfigured.

The new terminal would generate an estimated 922 daily car trips by employees and customers, Propeller estimated.

County planners expect to spend about eight weeks on their initial review of the terminal plans, project manager Tom Barnett said. Further review cycles, if necessary, could last up to six weeks each.

The planning department’s decision on whether to approve the project can be appealed to the county hearing examiner.

The county cannot issue the grading permit while an appeal is pending.

If the plans are approved, Propeller could sign a 30-year lease with two optional 10-year contract extensions. Rent would be $429,000 per year. The county also would receive a cut of revenue from flights and parking.

Propeller has not identified any airlines that might use the terminal, or which routes they would fly.

Mukilteo and the Save Our Communities neighborhood group are the most active critics of the proposed terminal, opposing it at the county level and in federal court.

County planners expect to launch a webpage soon with details about Paine Field terminal proposal.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @NWhaglund.

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