Today, Southwest announced our intent to serve Paine Field in Everett, Washington where a new two-gate facility is currently under construction. Paine Field is about 30 miles north of downtown Seattle and 40 miles north of our existing operation at Seattle–Tacoma International Airport. An airport seldom first allows commercial service so close to a major metropolitan area—so Southwest wants to bring some Heart to Paine!
Service to Paine Field solves a very clear need for Southwest. It provides a welcome and much needed alternative for our Customers in Snohomish, Skagit, and Whatcom counties, whose 1.1 million residents previously had to fight the extreme congestion on I-5 to get past downtown Seattle to Sea-Tac. This doesn’t even count the residents in northern King County that will find Paine Field an easy alternative.
Paine Field has a long history, having been built as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project in 1936. While the field has been around for decades, it’s always been a corporate, industrial, and private airport—and before that a military base. In 1966, Boeing announced plans to build what remains the world’s largest building by interior volume where they would build their futuristic new “jumbo” jet—the Boeing 747—which really put Paine on the map. Since then, the plant has been the birthplace of every Boeing wide-body aircraft (except some 787 Dreamliners).
The onsite Future of Flight Aviation Center is almost worth the trip alone to Everett, but there is so much more that the area has to offer. Mukilteo, the town adjacent to Everett, is the easiest and most scenic gateway to the northern Puget Sound Islands using the Washington State Ferry, including the San Juan and the Orcas Islands. A quick 30-minute crossing to Clinton on Whidbey Island transports you to places as unique as they are beautiful. And Everett’s Paine Field is the closest airport to the beauty of the region!
There are a multitude of regulatory and governmental approvals to obtain, so we’re not ready to announce service patterns or dates yet. However, we’re hopeful that our intent to serve will yield new service for Everett with friendly smiles, free bags, and no change fees! Keep watching here, and we’ll keep you informed.