Public invited to review updates to the draft Paine Field Master Plan

Paine Field (Photo courtesy Snohomish County)

Airport planners have completed draft concepts and alternatives for the Paine Field Airport Master Plan. Snohomish County invites the public to visit an online open house from June 1 to 30, to get an update on what the team has been working on, to learn more about the master plan, and leave comments or questions.

The public is also invited to share their thoughts with airport planners at a webinar on Thursday, June 16 from 6 to 7 p.m. The webinar will provide attendees a chance to learn more about the Master Plan updates and ask questions directly of the project team. Register and learn more about the draft plan at

Planners and engineers developed these concepts and alternatives based on public feedback in late 2021 and early 2022.

Webinar attendees and visitors to the online open house will see draft drawings of improved airfield taxiways, see land use updates, and hear more about the planning process.

“Snohomish County residents are passionate about activity in their communities, and this includes their local airport. We’ve worked hard to include them in the planning process and encourage them to get involved,” said Terry Ryan, Snohomish County Aerospace Economic Development Director.

Community members can visit the online open house at Through the online open house, community members can learn more about the master plan process, get an update on the proposed alternatives, leave comments, sign up for project emails, and follow Paine Field Airport on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.

  1. So it’s essentially a done deal that Paine Field will provide all the region’s commercial and air cargo growth as Sea-Tac reaches capacity, until 2050, when a new airport may come on line somewhere. At the same time, green technology will lag behind, so we will face new environmental impacts of noise and emissions, both from flights themselves and associated ground transportation. The report here comes across as a fait accompli, wherein the growth in the region is inevitable and that demand MUST be met. The problem is that there is too much uncontrolled growth in the region. Developments sprawl across rural western Washington counties. Highways are jammed. The quality of life has diminished significantly. Expansion of capacity at Paine Field should not automatically support unbridled growth. There should be coordination with other stakeholders. We are always being told that growth is good and inevitable, but key questions are never asked: What is a target population for Snohomish County? How many people can Snohomish and other counties absorb without having negative environmental and quality of life impacts? (Note: I believe we’ve already reached that). Does Western Washington really want to become an LA? Air traffic, which includes very noisy jets from Paine Field and from low flying seaplanes from Lake Washington, is already an annoyance. Bottom line: Where is the pushback on growth? Why is everything based on a notion of the inevitability of growth and demand? By accommodating demand, you enable it, a “build it and they will come” motif. Sustainable growth is an oxymoron in finite space. We should acknowledge and do something in response to this fundamental truth rather than just, when asked to jump, responding only with “how high?”

    1. Mr Barnes, I thank you for your extremely well-written and logical response to the bizarre notion that “growth is inevitable”. Why the quality of life in Snohomish county continues to decline seems obvious. Let’s stop the population growth NOW; then assess infrastructure changes.
      Please feel free to contact me if I can provide assistance in any fashion.

      Thank you again,
      Jonathan Cannon

  2. The passengers who are enjoying the convenience of flying out of Paine Field live within a short driving distance of of Paine Field. I doubt that any evidence supports the assertion that the flights out of Paine Field are “SeaTac overflow”. These flights are serving a different customer base who do not want to have to drive all the way down to SeaTac through hours of traffic jams.
    The world has been growing for thousands of years… Growth is considered inevitable because it is inevitable. It is the reality of living on Earth with an increasing population.

    Boeing decided to build the 747 factory at Paine Field in the 1960s because of the 10,000 ft runway that was there from it having been a military base. It was just a matter of time before the population from the surrounding area would get to enjoy the convenience of flying out of Paine Field.

    The good news is that the days of Allegiance Airlines flying MD-80s into Paine are long gone. Those airplanes were very loud due to not being stage 3 noise III noise compliant. They have all been scrapped.

    “Expending emotional energy on the uncontrollable” is one good description for (needless self-imposed) mental suffering.

    Expansion and growth will continue as long as humans exist and continue to reproduce.

    In the 1960s the US government offered Seattle a huge sum of money to build a light rail system. The voters of Seattle turned it down because they didn’t want the city to expand. So Atlanta got the money and built a light rail system 50 years ago.

    Denying the facts of reality does not make them go away.
    Feel free to enjoy the convenience of the short drive and short lines at Paine Field!

  3. A lot of good work and thoughtful (yet tough) questions are being asked while the Snohomish County Airport Commission navigates the airport master plan. In addition to reviewing the draft master plan, community members are invited to attend our quarterly Commission meetings, where we always have an update and presentation from the consultants and county staff leading this initiative. Our next meeting is slated for July 28th at 6pm.

    One thing I will say is there there has a very heavy emphasis on maintaining (if not increasing) general aviation access by both commissioners and GA community members alike. Feel free to engage with the airport commission representatives, who were appointed by County Council District, Business Community, and Airport Tenants. You can find their information here:

    Alicia Crank
    Edmonds resident
    Snohomish County Airport Commission Chair

  4. Aside from a short article in the Herald several months ago, no further mention has been made concerning the status of our world class Flying Heritage and Combat Armor Collection at Paine Field. I realize it has been purchased by a wealthy gentleman in Arkansas, but is the collection to remain here or everything moved there? If it is to be moved, will we have any chance to view this priceless treasure once more or have one more of the marvelous “fly days”? I have volunteered there for ten years and yet have hear nothing from the former staff members or seen anything other than the aforementioned news brief. What a pity to let this treasure simple pack up and leave, or is the prospect of acquiring additional runway space $$$ taking precedent? Thank you.

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