Letters for week of Dec. 12

Dec 12, 2012

Flights out of Paine Field add to messy Mukilteo

Editor, The Beacon:

Help Mr. Wizard!

Between the Mukilteo ferry and Boeing traffic how much more can our small city's infrastructure take? We are very limited on road options, as we are a town that is 6 miles long and 1 mile wide [“FAA clears Paine Field for passenger service,” The Beacon, front page, Dec. 5].

Add the coal trains on tracks to the mix and then you have yourself a mess of noise, traffic and air pollution!

When one state representative for our 21st District said he wanted "Mukilteo to become a transportation hub" he was not kidding.

Christine Awad Schmalz,


Passenger pie too small to pay

Great. The FAA’s decision is done. Now can we please take the city's $150K legal fee and the Save Our Communities slush funds and put them to good use closing the gaping holes in the city's budget? These funds are multiples of the amount the city will gain by the action taken last week in pushing our property tax rates to the maximum allowed by law.

The FAA found no reason to expect there to be an impact from the minor level of commercial use being proposed at Paine Field because there is none to be found. NONE! Not even close!

And, where I went to school, 2 X NONE still equals NONE. There is no reason to model five or 10 times the amount of traffic being proposed because there is NO prospect of anything like that happening in any of our lifetimes.

The reason there is NO prospect of that happening is that there is simply no place to go from Mukilteo (i.e., no reason to connect through Mukilteo) and there is not enough travel to be sourced in this area alone – certainly not in competition with SeaTac – to warrant such capacity.

This is NOT Los Angeles, Chicago or New York City. Yes, my arguments are simple, but at least they aren't the dishonest, say-anything-and-hope-it-will-stick stuff that has comprised the arguments put forth against the proposed commercial use of Paine Field.

I predict that commercial service at Paine Field will ultimately fail simply because it isn't commercially viable. Horizon (part of the aggressively-expanding Alaska Air Group) apparently has already concluded this, leaving Allegiant as the only remaining airline interested at this time (originally there were three).

I have maintained that the better means to ensure no commercial traffic at Paine Field would be to actually invite all the airlines in – the more that try, the more likely that ALL will fail. The pie can only be sliced so thin before the economics fail.

Again, I predict that even the whole Paine Field passenger pie is too small to pay out for even one airline – but let's watch Allegiant have a go at it. Their failure would ward off attempts by others.

As you can see, and as I have said many times before, I am neither a proponent nor an opponent of commercial flights at the field. However, I am opposed to the embarrassingly dumb arguments that have been made by city officials and SOC in their desperate efforts to fight the FAA on this.

For Example, why are Boeing planes not a problem and commercial planes are? Empty Boeing airplanes don't make as much noise as full commercial airplanes. Yes, that was Mayor Joe Marine's best pitch in the last discussion I had with him.

Really! That's the best you have?

John Troy Baker,


County needs to fight for us

Dear Snohomish County Councilmembers,

Please serve your community and reject the FAA's determination of non-significance of commercial air traffic at Paine Field.

Any movement forward on establishing commercial traffic will be mired in costly lawsuits – pitting the county government against the people of the county.

Your duty is to represent us, not railroad us. We, the people of the county, are watching your reaction to the FAA's ruling closely. The FAA may be able to lie to us, but you ARE us.

Regardless of your views on the necessity of commercial traffic, you owe us at least a FAIR assessment of the impacts of this change.

The law is on our side, but more importantly, common sense is on our side. Commercial traffic has significant impact, and narrowing the scope to the next few years is disingenuous.

Please don't start this fight against the people that you represent.

Thank you,

Loren West,


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