News Releases

Airport Improvement Grant will help support Paine Field’s passenger air service and aerospace businesses

Paine Field supports 159,000 jobs, $60 billion in annual business activity in Snohomish County

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, joined U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (D, WA-02) in announcing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will award $5,555,555 to Paine Field in Snohomish County. The funding comes from the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and will be used to rehabilitate the Echo taxi lane.

 “As Paine Field works like all of us to navigate the devastating economic consequences of this pandemic, this injection of federal funding couldn’t be more timely,” said Senator Murray. “I’m glad to see the federal government and partners on the state and local level work collaboratively to help make Paine Field whole, and I’m going to keep pushing with my colleagues in the other Washington to make sure our airports are getting the federal assistance they need during this uncertain time to keep workers on the job and planes taxiing on the runway.”

“When the formula in the last COVID relief bill left out assistance to Paine Field and put the airport in a significant cash crunch, we worked with the FAA on a solution.  I’m glad to see today that Paine Field will receive $5 million from the Airport Improvement Program to help keep the airport financially sound. Paine Field is too important to the region, to the state and to our aviation workforce to not keep it fully operational.  As Congress considers another COVID relief bill and additional support for aviation and airports, this funding will help the airport stay on a strong footing,” said Senator Cantwell. 

 “Paine Field’s commercial air service is a vital part of the regional economy and supports local jobs here in Northwest Washington,” said Representative Larsen, a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and Chair of the House Aviation Committee. “This supplemental grant funding will help ensure Paine Field can continue to maintain operations and support the aviation workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Our congressional delegation has once again come through for us,” said Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers. “When we approached them earlier this year about the loophole that kept Snohomish County’s Paine Field Airport from getting appropriate funding, they immediately jumped into action. I particularly want to thank Senator Cantwell, Congressman Larsen, and Senator Murray for their hard work to make this happen. Paine Field accounts for $60 billion in economic impact and over 159,000 jobs. These federal funds will help us recover more quickly from the COVID-19 pandemic and save jobs.”

Paine Field is the economic engine of Snohomish County, supporting 159,000 jobs and $60 billion in annual business activity. The grant announcement comes after Paine Field was shortchanged in funding allocated to airports from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, since the formula used to allocate the grants was based on how many passengers an airport served in 2018. Passenger airline service at Paine Field did not begin until March 2019.

Paine Field has quickly become a favorite among travelers in Snohomish County and Seattle’s North End. In February 2020, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, monthly passenger traffic at Paine Field was 71,022 travelers. One year after the opening of Paine Field’s passenger terminal, the airport hit 1 million travelers. Last month, Larsen landed at Paine Field on its first day back in operation following the airport’s 10-week closure for planned ramp repairs.

Cantwell, Murray, and Larsen have long supported the AIP and helped airports throughout Washington state get funding through the program. From 2013-2020, Washington state airports have received more than $600 million in grants from the program.