Since its March opening, the new commercial passenger terminal at Everett’s Paine Field has given Western Washington flyers a convenient option for getting out of town.

Even if you’ve already traveled through the new terminal, you probably didn’t realize that Bellingham’s Signs Plus created the signs that guide you through it, from the parking lot to the boarding gate.

Paine Field Passenger Terminal is fully owned and operated by Propeller Airports, a private-public airport development company led by Chief Executive Officer Brett Smith. The two-gate terminal services three aircraft at a time, accounting for over 20 daily flights to nine western cities for carriers Alaska and United Airlines.

Privately owned commercial terminals, Smith explains, are extremely rare in the United States. In Europe, however, the continent’s biggest airports—Heathrow, Charles de Gaulle, and Frankfurt—all belong to private enterprise.

“There’s no reason, in my view, to use taxpayer dollars that can go towards education, healthcare, and other causes, to build a terminal that you can’t directly get paid back for, because of the way FAA rules work,” Smith says.

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