EVERETT — Passenger air service at Everett’s Paine Field appears further away than recently thought, as Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air refused to agree to Snohomish County’s terms for building and operating a passenger terminal.
According to the Everett Herald, Allegiant Air wanted to build a terminal on free land essentially given to the airline from the Everett airport, a stipulation the Snohomish County Council could not agree to. Under Allegiant’s plan, the county could not control construction, leases and other facets of the terminal. The land gifted to the airport would be under complete control of Allegiant, and a portion of the concessions and sales would be given back to the county.
The three county commissioners reportedly agreed that gifting land to Allegiant without a lease could put the county in a precarious legal position, and perhaps give the airline an unfair advantage over competitors.
“If Allegiant were to somehow run the terminal to its advantage over other airlines, the county could be found liable, under federal law, for discrimination,” Camp told the Herald.
Alaska Airlines has also previously showed interest in operating commercial flights out of Paine Field, but not unless another airline carrier came in first, the Herald reported. Officials from Alaska expressed concern about Allegiant Air operating its own terminal with little county oversight.
Both proponents and opponents of bringing commercial flights to the local airport agreed the news was a setback for those looking for commercial flights out of Paine, it did not mean a deal was truly dead. Mukilteo Mayor Joe Marine — an opponent of bringing passenger travel to the area — said the deal could always come back to life.
“It’s like the vampire, it’s never dead,” Marine said.