Aviation legend Clay Lacy to help United Airlines launch Paine Field flights to Denver, Bay Area

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By  – Staff Writer, Puget Sound Business Journal

Former United Airlines Captain Clay Lacy, an American aviation legend, will help the Chicago-based carrier launch its daily fights from Paine Field‘s new passenger terminal this weekend.

Lacy will be on hand for a Sunday brunch and festivities as United launches two daily flights from Paine Field to Denver and four daily flights to San Francisco.

Clay Lacy founded Clay Lacy Aviation, the first jet charter and executive jet management company on the West Coast. He was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 2010.

Lacy retired from United in 1992 after more than 41 years of flying. He piloted the Convair 340, DC-3, DC-4, DC-6, DC-7, DC-8, DC-10, Boeing 727 and Boeing 747-400.

Clay helped pioneer development of the Astrovision camera system he has used to film over 2,000 projects, including movies such as “Top Gun.”

United says it’s returning to Paine Field — it was the first airline to operate a commercial flight from Paine 80 years ago — because North Seattle and Northwest Washington are among the fastest growing areas in the U.S.

United’s new Paine Field service gives flyers access to two of the airline’s largest hubs, offering consumers connections to hundreds of other domestic and international destinations from California, Colorado, and New York City.

United will operate the routes using a 76-seater Embraer 175 regional jet, and it joins rival Alaska Airlines at the Snohomish County airport.

The new terminal, which opened with the launch of Alaska Airlines flights on March 4, is operated in a public-private partnership with Propeller Airports.

Propeller CEO Brett Smith says United’s new service at Everett will allow his airport’s customers to get on a United plane in Everett and connect to 356 airports across five continents.