The Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour celebrated its grand opening today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by state and local officials.
The event took place at the new 73,000 square-foot facility, which is located at Paine Field in Everett, Wash. Dignitaries attending today's ceremony included Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire and Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon.
"The Future of Flight is expected to generate $3.5 million annually in tourism dollars for the state and that's great news, but I'm also excited about the opportunities for education that this Aviation Center offers," said Governor Gregoire. "This is the perfect place for young people to get excited about a career in science and engineering." "The Future of Flight is symbolic of the energy and creativity in Snohomish County," said Reardon. "We are creating our future in Snohomish County".
The $23.5 million Center was financed in part by the County's public facilities district. It is one of four major public facility projects in Snohomish County developed since the introduction of the Public Facilities District legislation sponsored by Executive Reardon while in the state legislature. The other three are the Everett Events Center, Lynnwood Convention Center and Edmonds Center for the Arts.
"This facility offers significant value to the County and the world," said Reardon. "Future technological innovations will come from the children and young adults inspired by what they see here today."
The Center is designed so visitors can create their own jet, then take a print of it home, experience the next generation of in-flight entertainment systems, touch the high-tech "skin" of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and learn how technology and aviation will be used in the future to connect people and cultures across the globe.
The Future of Flight Aviation Center features a 28,000-square-foot aviation gallery, a 9,000-square-foot observation deck, a new tour center for the nearby manufacturing plant in which Boeing assembles its 747, 767 and 777 airplanes, meeting rooms, and a theater, restaurant, and gift shops. Boeing joined with the Future of Flight Foundation and other partners because it allowed the jet manufacturer to expand its tour operations. Since opening in 1968, the Boeing Tour Center has hosted more than two million visitors from around the globe. Annually more than 100,000 people take its factory tour. The Future of Flight expects that number to double to more than 200,000 visitors per year.
A 102-room Hilton Garden Inn, which opened in October, was built adjacent to the center.
The Future of Flight Aviation Center is open daily, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
General admission is $15, $14 for seniors and active Military with ID, and $8 for children ages 6-15. Children younger than 6 years old are admitted free. Children must be at least 4 feet tall to take the factory tour. Visitors may not carry babies on the tour. Advance tickets for guaranteed tour times can be purchased by calling the Future of Flight Reservation Center at 1-800-464-1476 (toll free in the U.S. and Canada) or 360-756-0086 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Pacific Time, or via the Web. For more information, visit www.futureofflight.org.