Seattle’s Paine Field Flights Suspended Until August

Seattle’s swanky new Paine Field will see a temporary suspension of service starting on May 22nd through July 31st. During this time, the airport will conduct ramp maintenance and repairs.

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Seattle’s Paine Field will temporarily shut for infrastructure improvements. Photo: Paine Field

Seattle’s Paine Field closed to passengers

The temporary suspension goes into effect next Friday, May 22nd. The airport, despite being a new terminal, needs to upgrade and repair some of its infrastructures to better support aircraft operations and ensure safety.

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The swanky new terminal will be shut for over two months. Photo: Paine Field

Initially, the plan was that this repair would be done in a phased approach over four months. However, the downturn in passenger numbers is proving to be an ideal scenario. Paine Field’s operating company, Propeller Airports, has elected instead to shut down operations all at once for just over two months. Not only does this halve the amount of time required for the upgrades, but it also reduces any inconveniences for passengers and operators once activity picks up.

Closing down airports for improvements is nothing new. For about two months this year, Stuttgart Airport was closed for runway work. Milan’s Linate airport was also closed last summer.

Paine Field
Instead of multiple phases over four months, Paine Field plans to do the upgrades in two months. Photo: Jay Singh/Simple Flying

Before the onset of the current crisis, Paine Field saw 24 daily departures. However, that’s now down to just five. But once the airport’s upgrades are complete, it expects to see a full resumption fo 24 daily departures.

Brett Smith, CEO of Propeller Airports, had the following to say:

“The travel industry has never faced an economic challenge of this magnitude. We are going to use this temporary disruption to the advantage of Paine Field and our airline partners by completing necessary infrastructure improvements faster than we would have been able to while the terminal was open and flight operations were taking place.”

The closure of the airport means the upgrades can be done quicker with fewer passenger disruptions. Photo: Paine Field

Alternate flight options

Paine Field is located in the northern suburbs of Seattle in Everett. The airport is better known for Boeing’s operations there with manufacturing facilities for 747s, 767s, 777s, and 787s.

Seattle’s Paine Field Flights Suspended Until August
An Emirates Boeing 777X under development at Paine Field. Photo: Jay Singh/Simple Flying

The best alternate option for travelers is the much larger Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac). About 37 miles south of Paine Field, Sea-Tac is a hub for both Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines.

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Alaska Airlines flies E175 regional jets to Paine Field. Photo: Jay Singh/Simple Flying

Paine Field is designed to cater to passengers in the northern suburbs of Seattle. However, the airport is not terribly large. The largest airlines operating at the airport are Alaska and United– both using Embraer 175 regional jets. Of those two, Alaska Airlines has the lion’s share of operations. Although, for now, those operations have been scaled back to a minimum.

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A United 777-300ER under development at Paine Field. Photo: Jay Singh/Simple Flying

Paine Field

Paine Field first opened up just over a year ago– March 4th, 2019. The airport drew lots of attention for being one of the nicest passenger terminals in the United States. The airport claims to offer passengers more convenience and comfort compared to the much larger Sea-Tac.

In the last year, the airport has served over one million passengers with nonstop flights to 11 destinations– and more on the horizon.

In the midst of this crisis, Paine Field also instituted new temperature checks for passengers. Before entering the TSA security screening area, each passenger will be assessed through a contactless temperature detection system. The airport is also using UV technology to clean high-traffic areas like check-in kiosks.

Are you sad to see Paine Field temporarily suspend flights? Which airport is your favorite– Paine Field or Sea-Tac? Let us know in the comments!