Propeller Airports, which runs the passenger terminal at Paine Field in Everett, said Wednesday it has agreed to acquire the Castle & Cooke service base for small private planes and corporate jets at the airport.

Castle & Cooke is a so-called Fixed-Base Operator that provides refueling, catering, cleaning and hangar services for private planes.

Propeller did not disclose the acquisition cost, but CEO Brett Smith said it intends to invest in the region of $20 million to redevelop the current infrastructure, including a new FBO terminal and hangar complex, along with ancillary facilities.

Paine Field has had an FBO for 35 years. In a statement, Propeller said that as the region continues to grow, “there is demand for additional quality infrastructure to serve the general/corporate aviation communities.”

Propeller designed, built and operates the air passenger terminal at Paine Field in a public-private partnership with Snohomish County.

After the passenger terminal opened in March 2019, commercial service was quickly thriving. The terminal was handling 48 daily arrivals and departures and won praise from commercial airline passengers for its convenience and services.


The COVID-19 pandemic brought a steep downturn in air travel that slammed that business, which remains depressed as airlines struggle to return to full flight schedules. Only Alaska is operating out of Paine Field currently, with between 10 to 12 arrivals and departures per day.

Smith said he intends to bring similar service levels to private aviation clients that commercial passengers enjoy at the airport.

Propeller has formed a new subsidiary, Propeller Aero Services, to develop and operate the private plane facility. It anticipates closing the deal before the end of next month.