Questions, answers about commercial air service at Paine Field
Seattle Paine Field International Airport (PAE) was built in 1936 and has had a critical role both regionally and nationally as the manufacturing and testing center for Boeing’s narrow and widebody aircraft, including the 787, 777, 767, 747, and the 737 MAX. It is the site of the Boeing Future of Flight and Factory Tour, as well as other significant aerospace attractions. Paine Field also is home to a large and vibrant general aviation community. Commercial air service was launched here in March 2019. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions.
When did commercial fights begin flying from Paine Field Airport?
Commercial flights at Paine Field Airport began March 4, 2019.
Which airlines fly out of Paine Field Airport?
Two airlines currently provide service to and from Seattle Paine Field International Airport. Alaska Alaska flights began March 4, 2019. Kenmore Air began service in July 2022.
Where can I fly from Paine Field Airport?
Alaska offers flights to several destinations from Seattle Paine Field International Airport. Please contact the airline for information on current destinations and flight schedules, as this information regularly changes. Some of the destinations reached by Alaska include Anchorage, Honolulu (beginning November 2023), Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orange County (John Wayne), Palm Springs (seasonal), Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, and Tucson (seasonal).
Kenmore Air offers flights to several destinations from Seattle Paine Field. Please contact the airline for information on current destinations and flight schedules, as this information regularly changes. Flights to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, Eastsound on Orcas Island, and Victoria International Airport (YYJ) allow you to skip the ferry line and also provide convenient connections between the islands and non-stop service provided by Alaska Airlines.
How does Seattle Paine Field compare to SeaTac Airport?
For perspective, Seattle-Tacoma International is the 31st busiest airport in the world and the ninth busiest in the United States, handling approximately 600 departures per day. The Paine Field terminal will accommodate a total of 24 departures per day.
How big is the terminal?
The terminal building is approximately 30,000 square feet with two gates. The state-of-the-art terminal is intended to feel more like a lounge. The building has a number of amenities that are not typically seen at commercial terminals, including high-speed internet and power at every seat.
Where can I park?
The terminal offers valet parking, paid parking, ride share services and other convenient ways for people to get to and from Paine Field Airport. See flypainefield.com for details.
Will there be an economic benefit for our community from commercial air service?
Paine Field has an annual impact of more than $60 billion on our economy, primarily due to the aerospace companies that are based at or near here. Commercial air service gives our region an additional transportation asset, providing significant benefits to the travelling public and making our region more attractive for investors and companies looking to relocate.
Will there be noise impacts from commercial air service and who controls flight paths anyway?
With the addition of commercial air service at Paine Field and the expected 24 departures per day, we expect a 6 percent increase in take offs and landings. Since the airlines have committed to using the Embraer E-175 and Boeing 737 planes, two of the quieter commercial planes in service, we don’t expect neighbors will notice much of a change. The Federal Aviation Administration controls all aircraft in the United States from takeoff to touch down. As such, the FAA will control all flight paths into and out of Paine Field. However, the airport is not aware of any planned changes to the existing flight patterns.
Who will run the terminal?
While Snohomish County owns Paine Field, we have signed an innovative lease with Propeller Airports, a private company, to design, build, and operate the terminal. This public/private business arrangement will provide a vital public service for those who live in the region, while also insuring taxpayers don’t have to foot the bill.
Why are you starting commercial service?
The FAA requires airports built and maintained using federal funds to allow for commercial air service. Therefore, Snohomish County is obligated to allow for commercial service. The county believes regularly scheduled flights from Paine Field will be good for the economy, generating jobs across the region, and a great service to people and businesses.
Do you have a plan if my flight is diverted to Paine Field?
Paine Field and Propeller Airports Paine Field have developed a Tarmac Delays Contingency Plan to address occasions where an aircraft is diverted to Paine Field.
This plan describes how, following excessive tarmac delays and to the extent practicable, Snohomish County Airport will:
- Provide for the departing of passengers;
- Provide for the sharing of facilities and gates available at the passenger terminal; and
- Provide a sterile area following excessive tarmac delays for passengers who have not yet cleared United States Customs & Border Protection (CBP).
Please see our full plan: Tarmac Delays Contingency Plan (2022).
Updated July 21, 2023