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Paine Field News

Posted on: May 13, 2019

Don Bakken helped Paine Field soar

Don Bakken smiling

Don Bakken, who helped guide growth at Paine Field Airport for nearly three decades, passed away early this month. He was 93.

Bakken was the airport’s manager from 1982 until his retirement in 1992. Prior to that, he served a decade as the airport’s operations superintendent, and from 1966 to 1972 was a member of the Paine Field Airport Commission.

He was described as a “gentle and gentlemanly person” in a Seattle Times profile written at the time of his airport retirement. His obituary also chronicles achievements as a business owner and community leader.  

Bakken was among the airport officials who in the mid 1960s began transforming Paine Field from a former military base that also hosted general aviation aircraft to Snohomish County’s economic engine. The airport remains a general aviation hub, but it also is home to nearly half of the state’s aerospace manufacturing jobs and in March added daily commercial air service.

“Mr. Bakken helped lay the foundation for many of the good things happening today at Paine Field,” Airport Director Arif Ghouse said


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