Air Freight News

State grant supports ZeroAvia project at Paine Field

Jan 11, 2022

The Washington State Department of Commerce awarded a $350,000 economic development grant to support ZeroAvia’s site selection at Paine Field, Snohomish County. Economic Alliance Snohomish County (EASC) requested the funds which will be invested into converting a warehouse building to office and research and development space.

ZeroAvia has developed the leading hydrogen-electric powertrain propulsion technology for aviation, and as part of its research and development, has flown the world’s largest commercial-scale hydrogen-electric aircraft. At this county-owned site in Everett, the company will leverage its $5.5 million refurbishment budget to occupy facilities and prepare the site for their launch team of 20 design and software engineers supporting important strands of its development of the ZA2000 powertrain for a De Havilland DHC-8-400 (Q400) aircraft in conjunction with Alaska Airlines.

The company has chosen to locate its third research and development site in Snohomish County, where more than 500 companies comprise the aerospace cluster. The county’s cluster produces more than $60 billion in annual revenues and supports 159,000 direct and induced jobs.

ZeroAvia recently announced a $35 million commitment from investors including United Airlines and Alaska Air Group, building on earlier investments from Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures and others.

“Our state’s clean energy and clean aviation future just got stronger. This project is an important part of Snohomish County’s continuing efforts to maintain a competitive edge and strengthen the community with good jobs in the aerospace industry of the future. It enables advances in manufacturing and exploring opportunities for cleaner aircraft fuel,” said Gov. Jay Inslee.

“Meaningful support for innovation is key to transforming our legacy industries and accelerating growth of new clusters that will keep Washington’s statewide and regional economies vibrant for years to come,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown.

“Paine Field was an obvious choice for us. Working from this location, ZeroAvia is well positioned among one of the most talented aerospace and clean energy communities worldwide,” said Val Miftakhov, ZeroAvia founder. “We conducted a national search to locate our third R&D site. Given the age of the facility we will be occupying, this grant closed a gap related to facility construction and we are excited to engage in this community.”

Targeting 500 nautical mile trips initially, ZeroAvia’s engine technology can address the needs of nearly half of worldwide flight departures with hydrogen-electric propulsion systems. The company has secured experimental certificates for two prototype aircraft from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), passed significant flight test milestones, and is on track for commercial operations in 2024.

“ZeroAvia is exactly the type of company that Snohomish County wants to attract, because they are innovators, job-creators, part of our growing green economy, and the reason we are the aerospace capital of the world,” said Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers. “This addition to our aerospace cluster at Paine Field will help expand our already impressive cutting edge base of technology companies. We welcome ZeroAvia to Snohomish County and wish them every success, since their success helps us reach our long-term economic development and environmental sustainability goals.”

EASC, the county’s economic development authority, will administer the Governor’s Strategic Reserve Fund (SRF) investment on behalf of the state. The SRF is an important business recruitment, retention and expansion tool for Washington state. Funds can be used in several ways including workforce development, technical, planning or relocation assistance, and environmental analysis.

“Many advanced manufacturing sectors are interested in locating to Snohomish County to leverage the existing talent.” said Garry Clark, EASC President & CEO. “Our organization works as advocates and problem solvers for companies of all types and sectors, either expanding in this community or looking for a new home. EASC’s team credits the business-friendly policies, large and experienced manufacturing workforce and desirable quality of life for its success in in attracting new companies to the county.”

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