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FAA approves start of commercial flights at Paine Field

EVERETT, Wash.  — The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the start of commercial flights at Paine Field in Everett.

The Daily Herald newspaper reports that the decision Wednesday means Alaska Airlines and United Airlines can begin operations next month as planned. The two carriers are offering a combined 24 daily departures to destinations in the West from a new two-gate terminal at the Snohomish County-owned airport, with Alaska beginning service on March 4 and United starting up on March 31.

A few minor procedural hurdles remain. The company that will operate the new terminal, Propeller Airports, must pay fees totaling about $642,000 to Snohomish County, the Washington State Department of Transportation and the City of Mukilteo, and the FAA must amend Paine Field's airport operating certificate.

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said the start of commercial service will bring convenience for those who want to fly without having to drive through Seattle's traffic to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and that it would make the area more attractive to businesses and investors.

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