A plane lands at Paine Field as a bystander takes photos through hazy conditions Friday. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

New Paine Field commission to advise county on airport

EVERETT — Snohomish County has formed a new Paine Field advisory panel to help figure out ways to reduce airport noise and deal with problem tenants, among other roles.

The 13 members of the airport commission also will make recommendations about the airport’s annual budget, its master plan and capital improvements. The commission is intended to provide another window into airport operations.

“What is the best use of this space for all the residents of the county?” county spokesman Kent Patton said, in explaining the commission’s duties.

Paine Field handles about 300 daily flights, mostly from general aviation. It’s home to more than 650 aircraft as well as major Boeing Co. jet production, Aviation Technical Services and other aerospace firms. A limited number of regular passenger flights are expected to start in the fall of next year.

The commission was discussed during the county’s charter review process last year, but wasn’t put to a public vote. Instead, the County Council and County Executive Dave Somers’ administration agreed to enact the commission through the normal legislative process, which they did this spring.

The commission will include one appointee from each of the five County Council districts; three representing airport tenants; three members of the local business community; and two at-large members. They’ll meet at least once every quarter. The first meeting is expected in the fall.

Anybody interested in serving on the commission can apply until all positions are filled. County officials don’t expect to review applications until September at the earliest.

A separate group, the Paine Field Community Council, will remain the forum for people living nearby to discuss airport management. The community council operates under what’s called the mediated role determination. That framework has been in place since the late-1970s to address long-term development and uses at the airport.

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

Paine Field commission info

Snohomish County has formed a new commission to advise Paine Field operations, including areas such as finances, construction needs and noise. There are 13 openings.

More info: Go to snohomishcountywa.gov/3339/Current-Openings. Call or email questions to Alessandra Durham, county executive liaison for boards and commissions, at 425-388-3290 or Alessandra.Durham@co.snohomish.wa.us.

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