Mukilteo loses lawsuit; Paine Field one step closer to commercial air service

MUKILTEO, Wash. — A company that wants to bring a passenger terminal to Paine Field cleared a major hurdle Thursday—a judge tossed out a lawsuit by the city of Mukilteo.

The city sued Snohomish County to try to delay the project but lost.

If you live in Mukilteo, you are abundantly aware that you live close to an airport, but Mukilteo native and the city's Mayor Jennifer Gregerson said they were promised it wouldn't ever be a public airport.

"In the early 80s most of this portion of the community and Harbor Pointe was planned for residential with the commitment that there wouldn't be commercial air service, and so people moved here with that understanding,” Gregerson told KIRO 7.

But for years, the county airport has been looking at doing just that—adding commercial air service.

So Gregerson said the city's only option was to sue Snohomish County—asking a court to order more environmental impact studies before a lease with a company to build a new terminal is ever signed.

That company is New York-based Propeller.

The CEO told us Thursday the lease is contingent on an environmental study that will come after Propeller submits its proposal, but the lease should come first.

"We hope that Mayor Gregerson chooses not to continue to file frivolous lawsuits and chooses to work together—I just feel like a whole lot of money was flushed down the toilet,” explained Brad Smith with Propeller Airports. “I mean, Mukilteo has spent close to half a million dollars—and for what?"

The mayor is disappointed.

She said if the county is going to break a promise, she at least wants to make sure they follow all the rules.

"I'm focused on making sure we protect our community. It's really one of the number one issues in Mukilteo,” Gregerson concluded.

It could take six months or more for a county environmental study, and that's after Propeller submits its proposal.

There's also the permitting process, so Paine Field is still a ways away from commercial air service.

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