Join the fight against commercial flights
A study of economic impacts by airports in the state* found that Paine Field contributes more to economic activity – a $19.4 billion economic impact – than any other airport.
Expanding and supporting the aerospace industry at and around Paine Field makes much more sense than opening Paine Field to scheduled commercial air service.
It's hard to believe, but we might actually have news on that commercial air service in the next couple months. The Federal Aviation Administration has been working on a final environmental assessment of commercial flights for several years now.
Every time the FAA gets close to a decision, they delay, often for six months at a time. Right now, the expected release date is mid-September, and it appears it will actually happen.
Once the assessment is released, there is a comment period, followed by an appeal period. Assuming the assessment supports scheduled commercial flights at Paine Field, I am certain your City Council fully supports responding to the assessment. There are experts that can help us pick apart the assessment and make important points.
We should use that opportunity to defend our community from the potential for increased traffic, noise and all the unstoppable consequences from allowing even a handful of commercial flights at Paine Field.
A tough fact about changing what’s allowed at airports is that once the door is open, it’s legally very wide open—any number of commercial or cargo flights could fly out of Paine Field.
After the comment period, if the assessment supports allowing commercial flights, there is only the legal appeal process left. I am committed to fighting for Mukilteans through that process.
The best-case scenario would result in no flights. However, I also find value in fighting for mitigation, if we find we can't stop the flights.
There is nothing in the federal law that will limit numbers of flights, cargo flights alongside of commercial ones, hours of operation, and mitigation for the community.
I believe we have to do all we can to get some type of those agreements, at the very least.
Appeals based on the National Environmental Policy Act generally hinge on opportunities for mitigation. Using the appeal process to mitigate impacts is an important way to defend Mukilteo.
That fight will cost money, however. The city budget is on a planned, slow slide to balancing out revenues with expenditures. We still have 35 percent of annual general fund expenses sitting unused. Our policy is to have a two-month reserve, about 17 percent.
We have also funded a Paine Field emergency fund with about $150,000 the last few years. An effective defense of our community is sure to cost more.
We may need to use some of our extra general fund reserve balance; we may need to look at other expenses and other revenues.
I am committed to investing in that fight.
In the meantime, you can register your support by signing the Save Our Communities petition at socnw.org, or by emailing your council and mayor at email@example.com