It wasn’t that long ago that rapid airport growth was normal. In Washington State, Seatac airport quickly expanded with Delta invading Seattle and Alaska growing to defend their hometown turf. As airlines grew in Seattle to support the city’s rapid growth and businesses, Seatac was quickly running out of gates. To help alleviate congestion and to provide those in the Seattle metro area more options closer to home, Everett Paine field opened. Now, just slightly over a year after operations, Everett’s Paine field will close to commercial passenger flights.
Since opening in March 2019 Paine field quickly became popular among travelers in the North Sound. With just 2 gates and nearly 20 daily flights, the boutique airport is an all around hit. Just 9 days before the airport’s one-year anniversary, Paine Field welcomed their one millionth passenger. Growth was on the horizon.
Alaska has been tweaking flights to Seattle’s secondary airport. Ever since opening Alaska Airlines constantly found ways to maximize the new airport. Adding flights up and down the West Coast to popular destinations from Everett. Direct flights from the North Sound without having to commute through downtown Seattle is a dream come true. The new airport easily shaves up to 2 hours or more off the commute to and from Seatac. Now, those dreams are temporarily shattered.
Everett Pain Field Now Closed
Like the rest of the world, passengers’ traffic is nearly nonexistent. Air traffic in the Seattle area is the lowest it has ever been on record. Going all the way back to 1967! With the lack of traffic, Seattle no longer needs two airports. Due to the lack of passengers, Propeller, the airport operator, has opted to close for “maintenance and repairs” until August 1, 2020.
“The travel industry has never faced an economic challenge of this magnitude,” said Brett Smith, CEO of Propeller Airports. “We are going to use this temporary disruption to the advantage of Paine Field and our airline partners by completing necessary infrastructure improvements faster than we would have been able to while the terminal was open and flight operations were taking place.”
Work on the airport’s ramps repair initially scheduled over the next 4 months will go head over the summer. With lack of passengers and demand, the airport is expediting projects and temporarily closing the terminals. Hopefully demand will resume this summer and Alaska Airlines and others will return to the North Sound. Fingers crossed, as this airport is a gem!