Henry “Hank” Robinett (Snohomish County) 2020

Henry “Hank” Robinett (Snohomish County) 2020

Road to Paine Field renamed in Hank Robinett’s honor

Snohomish County has dedicated 100th Street SW to a local champion for commercial air service.

EVERETT — Hank Robinett, perhaps the most ardent supporter of commercial passenger flights at Paine Field, says he didn’t spend 30 years fighting for the service at the local airport to earn recognition.

But he’s getting some credit, anyway.

A street sign on the thoroughfare leading to Paine Field now bears the name of the real estate developer and former airport commissioner, who devoted decades to convincing residents and elected leaders that passenger air service would lead to an economic windfall that would far outweigh effects of noise or pollution.

Robinett said he was doing what he had to do “to help our county move forward.”

“I didn’t do it for any publicity,” he said. “But it was nice to get recognized, that’s for sure.”

The Snohomish County Council unanimously voted in December to dedicate 100th Street SW as “Hank Robinett Drive” in honor of the 89-year-old airport advocate, who is also the patriarch of one of the county’s most politically active families.

Robinett “has dedicated his life to the service of his country and community as a friend, a mentor, a patriot and a driving force for community service and economic development throughout Snohomish County,” states a resolution passed by the council.

“He has been passionate about bringing commercial air service to Paine Field for as long as I can remember,” said Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers, whose office proposed renaming the street. “He’s got an amazing history.”

The local Republican stalwart has served his fellow citizens in a variety of ways, from “providing housing for families and jobs to workers” to taking on leadership roles with charitable organizations and economic development groups, says the resolution passed by the council.

Robinett, a graduate of Lake Stevens High School, also served as a pilot in the United States Marine Corps for two decades, eventually rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He flew combat missions during the Korean and Vietnam wars.

“I have an aviation background, and I know the importance of aviation and the importance of airports,” Robinett said. He added that bringing passenger service to the airport was “a tremendous door opener for future economic development for Snohomish County.”

Somers echoed the sentiment, calling Paine Field’s expansion “a wild success.”

“(Robinett) has just been a solid supporter and voice in the community that this would be something that’s good for the county, and I think that’s something that’s proven correct,” Somers said. “It really kind of gives us a connection to the rest of the world that we didn’t have before.”

Rachel Riley: 425-339-3465; rachel.riley@soundpublishing.com. Twitter: @rachel_m_riley.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Democrats in the Washington State House are proposing to pay for transportation improvements partly by raising the gas tax by 18 cents. (Andrea Brown / Herald file)
Gas tax increase part of Dems’ massive transportation package

An 18-cent gas tax hike and a fee on carbon emissions would raise $25.8 billion for new roads and more.

Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times Carol Johnston has watched this Pacific madrone grow for the past 14 years. It is slated to be removed during McDonald’s upcoming renovation in early February.
Madrone tree to make way for bigger McDonald’s in Oak Harbor

Despite being named a Tree City USA, the city has no special protection in place for the native tree.

Navy seeks to conduct SEAL training in Whidbey, Camano parks

The deadline to register to participate in public comment is 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22.

Light rail work to close northbound I-5 in Mountlake Terrace

The overnight closures will happen late Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Jill Johnson (left) and Greg Banks
State’s vaccine schedule draws criticism from Island County

Gov. Jay Inslee’s new plan for vaccinations didn’t include a change for disabled people.

Grant program reopens for businesses suffering amid pandemic

Local businesses that haven’t applied to Snohomish County’s “R3” program can do so until Feb. 2.

Short on doses, county’s drive-thru vaccinations are on pause

Appointments won’t be accepted again until new shipments arrive — next week at the soonest.

Everett man identified after deadly apartment fire

Christopher Blair, 50, was found in a bedroom where the mattress was on fire early Sunday.

Most Read