Everett's Paine Field now open for commercial flights

Flights out of Everett's new commercial terminal, Paine Field, started Monday morning, giving North Sound travelers the option of skipping Sea-Tac Airport.

For Snohomish County, it opens the skies to area residents four years after commissioners signed off on the plan.

Late last year, the FAA found no significant issues with noise traffic or pollution, and in the last few weeks, the agency gave the green light for commercial flights, launching a new era of aviation.

Alaska Airlines' first flight out of the terminal departed at 10 a.m. to Portland, followed by flights to Las Vegas at 10:30 a.m. and Phoenix at noon.

The two-gate terminal will have 18 daily nonstop flights on Alaska Airlines to eight destinations on or near the West Coast including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas.

United Airlines will offer six flights to Denver and San Francisco. Its service begins on March  31.

Some passengers arrived early to take part in a grand opening celebration that included catered food, a ribbon cutting and the unveiling of statues. The first commercial flight leaving the airport was celebrated with water cannons.

The opening date was delayed after Alaska Airlines pushed out its first day of service during the federal government shutdown at the beginning of the year. The airline initially intended to begin service Feb. 11.

More news from KIRO 7