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Save Our Communities Blog : In-Depth

The maiden test flight of Boeing's 787-9 is flawless
Wed, Sep 25, 2013 - 02:35 PMPosted by SOC in In-Depth

Amid cheers from Boeing employees, the 787-9 took off from Everett's Paine Field at 11:02am on Tuesday, September 17th, 3013.

The new Dreamliner is a victory for Boeing as they seem to have worked out the kinks of previous models.  The 787-8 was 3 years behind their projected production schedule and was grounded for 4 months earlier this year due to overheating lithium batteries.  The 787-9 version has a redesigned battery system that addresses the overheating issue.  The new version of the Dreamliner is 20 feet longer, allowing it to carry more cargo or about 40 more passengers as well as being more fuel efficient. 

The first test flight of the 787-9 lasted 5 hours as the pilots flew around the state of Washington before landing at Boeing Field in Seattle.  Boeing seems to be on track to fulfill the close to 400 orders of the new plane on time.  With all the new construction nearing completion at and around Paine Field, we can only hope that our local airport continues to be used to support local aerospace manufacturing, the priority here along with general aviation. 

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Construction at Paine Field
Wed, Aug 28, 2013 - 11:14 AMPosted by SOC in In-Depth
If you have driven by Paine Field recently, you may be wondering what is going on there with all the new construction.  

The $35 million Boeing Dreamlifter Operation Center is only part of the bigger picture.  As reported in a previous post, Snohomish county is building the 30,000 square foot facility to which the aerospace giant plans to move its Dreamlifter operations to when it is slated to be finished in October.  Boeing will then lease the building back from the county.  

This is only a fraction of the construction activity occurring this summer however.  The downturn in the economy forced construction projects to a back-burner and they were only recently green lighted again.  Perhaps the most significant of these projects is the 3,000 foot general aviation runway. This $6.5 million project is to improve drainage, level the runway and fix taxiway intersections.  During construction, the airport will be down to single runway.  The project is slightly behind schedule but will reopen soon.

Several side roads and roofing projects are also on the agenda in this the busiest construction season the local airport has seen.  These projects prove a commitment to both general aviation and aerospace manufacturing at Paine Field.  Investing in the current role of the airport, general aviation and aerospace manufacturing, makes sense.

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Everett plant to bail out South Caroliina's Boeing facility
Thu, Aug 8, 2013 - 09:06 AMPosted by SOC in In-Depth
Back in October of 2012 Boeing officials stated that the North Charleston, South Carolina plant would be able to produce three 787 Dreamliners a month by the end of 2013. Boeing seemed to be moving manpower and investments away from Washington and into South Carolina.  The Charleston plant however, is currently behind schedule and won't produce 3 per month until at least early 2014 according to the Charleston Post.  

The Everett Boeing plant is picking up the slack to ensure that the target of 10 Dreamliners a month is reached.  Everett remains the primary location for the 787's production, with a goal of 7 Dreamliners to be produced per month.  Everett also has a "surge line" set up to temporarily boost and support production.  At this point between the main 787 operation and the surge line, Everett Boeing is picking up the slack for the South Carolina plant proving once again how important the Everett plant is to the company's vitality.  Let’s keep Paine Field building and supporting aerospace, not commercial flights.

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Boeing Invests in Everett
Fri, Aug 2, 2013 - 04:05 PMPosted by SOC in In-Depth
Boeing has made many moves in recent months that have concerned Washingtonians  about their local commitment and future in the state. The aerospace behemoth has moved talent and production to South Carolina as well as committed to enlarging their presence in Charleston.  To make matters worse, Paine Field, with which Boeing has a through the fence policy, may have to accomodate commercial traffic.  Commercial flight out of Paine Field could hinder Boeing operations.  Things are starting to look up for Washington, however, as Boeing solidifies its presence in Snohomish County with the building of the new Dreamlifter Operations Center set to open in October.

If you have driven by Paine Field recently, you have noticed the construction going on south of the Future of Flight center on 17 acres of county land.  Snohomish County is building a $35 million operations center that will be leased by Boeing.  This center will include a fueling station for the massive Dreamlifters as well as three outdoor stalls for them to park upon delivering parts for the 787 Dreamliner, and two oversized storage buildings for large parts.  This Operations Center will support the assembly of Boeing's 787 Dreamliners here in Everett.  The building of this center coupled with Boeing's Everett Delivery Center which opened this past April, show positive progress that Boeing is still committed and investing in Washington State.

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Washington Seeks to Compete with South Carolina For Boeing
Mon, Jul 29, 2013 - 12:31 PMPosted by SOC in In-Depth
Snohomish County officials as well as Governor Jay Inslee are making strides toward keeping Boeing local.  On the heels of Allegiant Air's refusal to pay their own way for commercial service out of Paine Field, the powers that be are talking about preparing an industrial site just south of the burgeoning  Dreamlifter operations center to try and entice Boeing to assemble their new 777X in Everett.  Boeing has yet to identify where the 777X project will be based and likely won't specify their plans until later in the year.  South Carolina has proved their commitment to aerospace in general and Boeing in particular recently with their promise to give the aerospace giant $120 million in state incentives in exchange for 2,000 new jobs and a $1 billion investment in the area. 

Washington officials are looking to stay competitive and keep Boeing here by discussing the possibility of sinking $8 million into developing an industrial pad with access to the main runway at Paine Field that the new 777X composite wing could be built on.  Officials are just starting the process and looking into the industrial permits, of which they will likely need more than 20 before development can begin.  This is a step in the right direction which fits Paine Field's business model of supporting Aerospace and general aviation over commercial flight.

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Will Allegiant Air really be there?
Fri, Jun 14, 2013 - 04:09 PMPosted by SOC in In-Depth

Allegiant Air, who primarily flies out of small markets, continues to express interest in bringing commercial flights to Paine Field.  They already fly out of Bellingham, operating about 15 flights per day, catering mostly to vacationers looking for a bargain.  This bargain comes with a price however.  Allegiant flights are frequently late and reportedly they currently have the worst record for on-time departures and arrivals.  Perhaps the biggest concern for Paine Field, Snohomish County and the taxpayers should be that Allegiant Air also has a reputation to pull out of markets where they are not making enough of a profit leaving the cities high and dry.  Allegiant is cancelling flights and leaving cities all over the country due to low ticket sales.  They claim this is only temporary, a seasonal cutback, but in the meantime the airport is forced to foot the bill they left behind.  Save Our Communities continues to support a legal County policy of requiring any and every airline that wishes to fly out of Paine Field to pay their own way.  This would include all impacts and startup costs like designing and building a passenger terminal.  Taxpayers should not be left paying the bills to subsidize airlines or cover costs when an airline like Allegiant decides to leave.  For more information on Allegiant Air's practices visit http://willallegiantbethere.org/.

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Tags: SOC, Paine Field, Allegiant Air
Boeing Continues to Move Presence to South Carolina
Sun, Jun 9, 2013 - 12:05 PMPosted by SOC in In-Depth
While the FAA continues its attempt to strong-arm Snohomish County into building a commercial airline terminal at Paine Field, and the cities of Mukilteo and Edmonds as well as the SOC fight back trying to keep commercial air traffic out of our neighborhoods, South Carolina proves once again that they welcome Boeing with open arms.  Boeing is looking to build a 220,000 square foot manufacturing plant in South Carolina within 20 miles of the current North Charleston factory to build 737 Max engine nacelles among other things.  South Carolina has been a great host and continues to prove their loyalty to the aerospace giant, encouraging their expansion there.  Recently the South Carolina legislature made a deal with Boeing, promising them $120 million in state incentives in exchange for the promise of 2,000 new jobs and their investment of $1 billion in the area.  Boeing's shift away from the Puget Sound should be cause for concern.  While the war rages on over a commercial air field in Boeing's back yard in Everett, South Carolina continues to be a lower cost, more attractive option.

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Tags: paine field, boeing, south carolina, commercial airlines, 737
Paine Field Hosts Aviation Day
Mon, May 13, 2013 - 04:56 PMPosted by SOC in In-Depth
Aviation Day is a fun-filled, family friendly event.  This community event usually brings in over 5,000 people and has been occurring for more than 17 years.  100s of vintage and new aircraft as well as warbirds will be on display for the public to see.  The Warbirds will even do a flyover at noon!  The Historic Flight Foundation and the Flying Heritage Collection will be flying throughout the day.  The Flying Heritage collection will be open and kids aged 8-17 can even sign up for a free Flying Eagles introductory flight.  Vendors, bouncy houses and even the SeaFair pirates will be on hand to entertain you.  These are the kinds of events small airports enjoy.  This general aviation activity fits exactly with the current successful role of Paine Field supporting aerospace manufacturing and general aviation.  Don't let commercial air traffic spoil it.  Like us on Facebook to help join the fight to protect our community.

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Tags: Paine Field, heritage collection, Boeing, aeropspace
Boeing Moves Intellect to South Carolina
Fri, May 3, 2013 - 03:06 PMPosted by soc in In-Depth

Boeing has been making their presence known and felt in South Carolina for awhile now, with their recent agreement to purchase 320 acres of land in Charleston and increase local jobs.  South Carolina has been very supportive and their House of Representatives voted to give Boeing $120 million in incentives in return for the promise of 2,000 new jobs and $1.1 billion in investments.  Now Boeing announces that they are moving around 20 engineers to North Charleston to help design engine inlets for the new 737 Max.  The plane will still be assembled in the Puget Sound, but several key parts are now being built elsewhere.  This comes on the heels of Boeing announcing layoffs in the Puget Sound area.  Should we be concerned about the future of Boeing in the Pacific Northwest?  What are we doing to prove to Boeing that they are a priority here?  South Carolina wants them and is willing to prove it.  Boeing has parked planes all over Paine Field- even in the location where a commercial service terminal has been proposed. Subsidizing commercial flights to crowd their North Sound operations at Paine Field is incredibly short sighted could eventually be another reason for Boeing to move jobs to South Carolina.

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Tags: boeing, jobs, paine field, commercial airlines, aerospace, engineers, South Carolina, 737
Boeing's South Carolina Presence Continues to Grow
Mon, Apr 22, 2013 - 11:42 AMPosted by SOC in In-Depth
South Carolina continues to make Boeing a priority in their community.  This past Wednesday, their House of Representatives passed a bill to give Boeing $120 million in incentives in return for the promise of 2,000 new jobs and $1.1 billion in investment.  Boeing also has already agreed to buy 320 acres of land in Charleston as well as develop an operations center for the Dreamlifter 747 and an information technology center.  Currently the Everett Boeing plant builds seven 787s monthly and by the end of 2013 South Carolina will be producing three.  What does this mean for the future of Boeing in Everett?   Are we making them enough of a priority at Paine Field and its surrounding area?  South Carolina has proven that Boeing is there to stay.  What are we going to do to keep Boeing interested in staying here as well?

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Tags: boeing, aerospace, jobs, Paine Field, South Carolina, Everett, 747, Dreamlifter, 787

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