‘Regional flights’ would quickly grow

As a resident of North Edmonds and a commercial airline pilot, I know only too well what opening up Paine Field to commercial airline traffic would do to our community and hence to our property values. The idea that it would be beneficial is a shortsighted, knee-jerk reaction to our traffic problems in Seattle.

Sure, a drive to Everett would save me 45 minutes or so on my commute to work, but I’m more than willing to make the drive to maintain a peaceful, Northwest environment. Like all the others around me (I simply can’t believe that these “local” businessmen really live locally) I have no wish to live in an industrial area.

The proponents of this idea claim that “10 to 15 flights a day” would not be disruptive and would not lead to heavier traffic. Hah! Their own numbers claim that Paine Field is currently at 45 percent capacity and that those 10 to 15 flights would only bring it up to 50 percent. And they’re going to stop there? Are we to believe that the “regional commuter flights” (those planes sound so small and unintrusive, don’t they?) to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Spokane would not be matched by Southwest in short order? Paine Field has big Boeing-sized runways, and Southwest wouldn’t mind finding an inexpensive alternative to Sea-Tac. Does anyone here remember the Boeing Field showdown recently? Alaska threatening to fly out of Boeing as well? Do we really want that turf war in our neighborhood? No.

Those 10 to 15 flights a day would swell very quickly, bringing noise and pollution to our neighborhoods. I was born and raised in the Northwest and I don’t think our values or our environment are served by commercial air traffic at Paine Field. It’s a crazy idea with disastrous consequences.

Peter Ekern


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