Yesterday Alaska Airlines announced its planned routes for flights from Snohomish County’s Paine Field. Unless otherwise directed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Snohomish County will proceed with plans for the development of a commercial air terminal at Paine Field as required by federal law.
However the county’s elected officials personally feel about the decision of the FAA to allow passenger service at Paine Field, it is essential that Snohomish County ensure all requirements under federal law are met. It remains our responsibility to protect the county and its assets from all risks. The county has the legal obligation as directed by the FAA to proceed and make Paine Field available for public use without unjust discrimination.
The county has been patient and forthright in our approach throughout this process. We advocated for an extensive public-comment period and supported a thorough analysis of the potential impacts. To date, more than $500,000 has been spent by the FAA studying the issues raised. We have been and will continue to be prudent and responsible in all matters relating to commercial service at Paine Field.
The FAA previously concluded in its environmental assessment with a finding of ‘no significant impact.’ Unless otherwise directed by the FAA, Alaska’s announcement has no impact on how the county is obligated to proceed.
Regardless of personal perspectives that exist among the county’s elected officials and community organizations, it is my hope that parties on both sides of this issue understand that our responsibility is to protect the county and its assets.
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