The passenger terminal at Paine Field (PAE), located 30 miles north of Seattle in Everett, WA, opened just about a year ago.
The first fight took off on March 4, 2019.
A private partnership between Propeller Airports and Snohomish County, the 2-gate terminal feels more like a swanky airport lounge than a small regional airport.
The $40 million terminal was designed by Denver-based Fentress Architects. In the lobby, there’s a concierge desk and Solari flight display board programmed to emit the retro flip-board “flapping.”
Post-security, passengers find two fireplaces, plenty of armchairs, display cases filled with Paine Field-related memorabilia, and two glass-walled jet bridges.
And the views! Paine Field Airport passenger terminal sits on the same airfield as the Boeing widebody assembly plant, so interesting and unusual aircraft can usually be spotted out the windows.
As it approaches its first anniversary, Paine Field took a moment to celebrate its millionth passenger.
The lucky passenger, Aristotle Roberts of Lynnwood, WA, was presented with a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne, two round trip tickets to any of Paine Field’s 12 nonstop destinations and, oddly, one million days of free valet parking at the terminal.
From Paine Field Airport (PAE), travelers can fly to Spokane, Portland, San Francisco, Denver, Las Vegas, San Jose, Los Angeles, San Diego, Palm Springs, Orange County, Phoenix and, soon, Boise, ID.
The first commercial flights from what’s been dubbed “Seattle’s second airport” are set to take on March 4, 2019 from the brand new passenger terminal at Paine Field (PAE) in Everett, WA.
The 2-gate, 30,000 square-foot terminal is a
private-partnership between Propeller Airports and Snohomish County and feels
more like a swank airport lounge than a small regional airport.
Here is my “At the Airport” column for USA TODAY about the Paine Field project:
To the delight of many travelers in the
Seattle-metro area who must battle some of the country’s worst traffic to reach
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Paine Field is 30 miles north of downtown
Seattle about 40 miles north of SEA.
As avgeeks and avid plane spotters will
quickly tell you, the new Paine Field passenger terminal sits on the same
airfield that houses Boeing’s sprawling wide-body assembly plant.
will you be able to fly to from Paine Field?
After a brief setback due to the partial government shutdown, Alaska Airlines is scheduled to launch service from Paine Field on March 4 with flights to Portland, Las Vegas and Phoenix after a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the airport.
By March 12, the full schedule of 18 daily roundtrip
nonstop flights to 8 west coast cities – Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orange County,
Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose – should be operating
on their regular schedules.
“I think we’ll have a good mix of leisure and
business travelers,” said Mario Doiron, who will serve as Alaska Airlines’
station supervisor at Paine Field, “The morning flights will likely be filled
with business travelers, as is the pattern now for us at SEA airport. But
there’s been more interest from leisure travelers than we thought.”
Airlines, the only other carrier scheduled to operate out of the Paine
Field passenger terminal, will begin flying six daily flights from PAE on March
31: two daily roundtrips to Denver and four daily roundtrips to San Francisco.
Making sure United offered flights from
Paine Field to Denver and San Francisco “Is kind of a no-brainer,” in terms of
giving more passengers a way to get to the airline’s hub airports, said Ankit Gupta, United’s VP of Domestic
Network Planning. “As the airport expands, we’ll look at either flying bigger
jets or flying to more cities.”
Both airlines will operate their flights from Paine Field on
Embraer 175 jets.
What’s inside the new
Paine Field passenger terminal?
Propeller Airport CEO, Brett Smith gave me a tour of the new Paine Field passenger terminal at the end of February, less than two weeks before the facility was set to welcome its first guests.
Construction was complete, but Smith was busy
answering calls and questions about last-minute touch-ups and finish-work and making
adjustments to the lighting and the sound system. In one of the two gate hold
areas, employees from Alaska Airlines, the Transportation Security
Administration, the local sheriff’s office and other groups were doing
operational run-throughs for opening day.
With valet parking and a concierge desk at the terminal door,
Smith says the $40 million terminal designed by Denver-based Fentress
Architects will make passengers feel as if they’re entering an upscale hotel
lobby. Once through security, “They’ll feel as if they’re in an upscale private
airport lounge,” said Smith, “But this lounge is for everybody.”
The lobby has a polished concrete floor, a Swiss-made wood
acoustical treatment on the ceiling, a Bose sound system, check-in stands with
Italian-marble countertops, and a limestone-covered wall complete with
easy-to-spot fossil imprints. Behind a bank of check-in kiosks is a Solari
flight display board programmed to emit the retro flip-board “flapping.”
Smith says the concierge desk staff will offer all
passengers the same sort of service hotel concierge staff might offer,
including direction and recommendations for restaurants and places to stay, as
well as help with bookings. The concierge team will also escort Alaska’s 75
gold and UA 1K and above flyers to the front of the TSA line.
Smith hopes to introduce concierge subscription
plans that might include everything from a fast track through the TSA line to
unlimited valet parking and pickup and drop-off services within a 10 mile
radius of the airport.
“We might also offer services like fulfilling grocery orders
and taking care of dry cleaning or laundry which can be arraigned in advance so
that when travelers return home they will find their requests fulfilled and
waiting in their vehicles,” said Smith.
A short ramp leads to the TSA security
checkpoint area, which will have three lanes, including one devoted to TSA
Once past the security checkpoint, passengers
enter the main terminal waiting area between the two gate areas. This center
area has a plush, living room-like feel to it, complete with two fireplaces,
plenty of armchairs and other comfortable seating, and a set of display cases
filled with Paine Field-related memorabilia.
The view outside the large glass windows is
unique: because Paine Field is home to the Boeing assembly plant and many other
aviation-related activities, passengers are likely to spot anything from
Boeing’s Dreamlifter and airplanes fresh out of the factory to military
aircraft, private jets and planes in for maintenance. (The day we toured, a “Janet” airlines plane,
said to ferry government employees between Las Vegas McCarran International
Airport and top-secret locations, such as Area 51, was pulling out of a
To insure passengers don’t miss anything out
on the airfield, there are glass-walled jet-bridges leading to and from the
airplanes that will park at each gate
There’s robust Wi-Fi throughout the Paine
Field passenger terminal, multiple options for power each of the 300 seats, and
food and beverage provided by Seattle’s well-loved Beecher’s Handmade Cheese,
including a Café Vita coffee shop pre-security. Post-security there will be a
Beecher’s Handmade Cheese Café, serving soups, sandwiches and mac ‘n cheese,
plus the Upper Case Bar, with Pacific Northwest wines, cocktails and food from
The one-carousel baggage claim is about a
minute’s walk from either gate and passenger pickup is just outside the bag
claim area. A pet-relief area and a small building where passengers will wait
for taxis, ride-hailed drivers and car rental shuttles is just outside the bag
WWII and the Korean War changed those plans and, in 1966,
after Snohomish County took over the airport, Boeing set up its production
facility for the B-747 airplanes at Paine Field.
Commercial passenger service from Paine Field
has been proposed, and hotly debated, for years.
In addition to the new Paine Field passenger
terminal, today Paine Field is home to the Boeing Company’s wide-body assembly
plant and the popular Boeing
Factory Tour, as well as several other aviation-related businesses and
facilities, museums and attractions, including the Flight Heritage & Combat Armor Museum built around a
collection established by the late Paul G. Allen.