It is worth noting that there is a giant factory with 30,000-40,000 workers at that airport including thousands of engineers, managers, etc that travel for work. There is a business client right there at the airport in the form of Boeing, so many may choose to fly from PAE and connect in DEN or SFO when traveling.
Good points in your other posts about UA connecting volume.
I wanted to add here that Boeing is these days just one, even if the most obvious part of the overall picture. I think Boeing suppliers in the area nearly double the figure, and a lot of them are close to PAE, too. Snohomish County in general hosts over 1/4 million jobs, and there's probably an equal number or even more in King County located closer to PAE than to SEA. A very significant number of those are software and biotech jobs, plus the regular government services, health care, and education. Also, service members and contractors at both Naval Station Everett and Whidbey NAS would drive right past PAE on their way to SEA.
Snohomish county wants federal subsidies for its airport. That limit of 22-26 (commercial?) flights a day will be increased. There are hours of operations limits which have a better chance of remaining, but even those can be changed as airplanes get quieter.
It will be fought though, and the condition on the FAA subsidies is they have to accept "reasonable" proposals for commercial air service. Expanding the environmental assessment will likely be opposed as "unreasonable."
The calculated noise contours from newer aircraft should demonstrate otherwise, especially considering the existing noise contours are well within the normal limits for existing residential areas, but advancing proposals to expand service will be slow when they get taken to court every step of the way.
Even after the current environmental assessment was accepted, challenged, and upheld, the city of Mukilteo continued to spend up $100,000 per year in taxpayer funds to fight it. It was clearly a futile case, so I assume they did so merely to delay service.
It seems the NIMBYs didn't notice the HUUUUUGE airplane factory at KPAE...
The overwhelming volume of 1-2 additional flights per hour will completely destroy the community...or something.
There's a few folks I've discussed this with locally who do sort of grasp that the environmental assessment includes detailed technical evidence that the operations don't change the historical noise levels, nor exceed regulatory limits. They usually instead argue that the commercial air service violates the Mediated Role Determination - a non-binding nearly 40 year old agreement that sets as policy at the time that commercial air service would be discouraged.