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Airport Portland (USA) - International

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Portland International Airport
Airport typePublic
Owner/OperatorPort of Portland
ServesPortland metropolitan area
LocationPortland, Oregon
Hub for
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL30 ft / 9 m
Coordinates45°3519N 122°3551W / 45.58861°N 122.59750°W / 45.58861; -122.59750Coordinates: 45°3519N 122°3551W / 45.58861°N 122.59750°W / 45.58861; -122.59750
Location of airport in Oregon
Direction Length Surface
ft m
3/21 6,000 1,829 Asphalt
10L/28R 9,825 2,995 Asphalt
10R/28L 11,000 3,353 Concrete
Statistics (2018)
Aircraft operations233,993

Portland International Airport (IATA: PDX, ICAO: KPDX, FAA LID: PDX) is a joint civilmilitary airport and the largest airport in the U.S. state of Oregon that accounts for 90% of passenger air travel and more than 95% of air cargo of the state.[3] It is within Portland's city limits just south of the Columbia River in Multnomah County, 6 miles (10 kilometers) by air and 12 mi (19 km) by highway northeast of downtown Portland. Portland International Airport is often referred to by its IATA airport code, PDX. The airport covers 3,000 acres (1,214 ha) of land.[1]

Portland International Airport has direct flights and connections to most major airports throughout the United States, and non-stop international flights to Canada, Germany, Iceland, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. The airport is a secondary hub for Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, with SeattleTacoma International Airport as the primary hub. It is also a maintenance facility for Horizon Air. General aviation services are provided at PDX by Atlantic Aviation.[4] The Oregon Air National Guard has a base on the southwest portion of the airport property grounds, and is also the host unit of the 142nd Fighter Wing (142 FW), which operates the F-15 Eagle. Local transportation includes the MAX Red Line light rail, which takes passengers between PDX and downtown Portland, as well as farther west to Beaverton, Oregon. There is also Interstate 205, which connects to southwestern Washington (north from PDX) along with many suburbs of Portland (south from PDX).

PDX receives top honors among many polls: 2013 Travel + Leisure magazine readers' poll for best US airport; Condé Nast Traveler in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010, top airport for business travelers; #1 in 2015, 2016, and 2019 by J.D. Power and Associates for U.S. "Large Passenger Airports" and overall highest amongst passenger satisfaction; the 2015 ALPA Airport of the Year.

Airport facilities

Bicycle resources

The lower terminal roadway near the TriMet MAX Red Line station has a work station and assembly for repairing bicycles. The Oregon Welcome Center also has a "Tool check-out".[5][6]

Mini-movie theater

In February 2017, the Hollywood Theatre opened a microcinema within the post-security section of concourse C near gate C5. The theater has seventeen seats, with an additional standing only room. The films shown run for approximately fifteen minutes, are free of charge and showcase the work of Portland-based filmmakers, primarily focused on the culture of the Pacific Northwest.[7][8][9][10]


Operating at Portland International Airport since the summer of 2013, House Spirits Distillery upgraded and expanded their presence at the airport in 2017 from a mobile kiosk to a larger, permanent retail location within concourse C, across from gate C6. Known for the anchor of Portland's famous "Distillery Row", House Spirits Distillery was recognized as the nation's "Best New Specialty Retail Concept, Small Operator" as awarded in 2015 by the Airport Revenue News. They were recognized for their immersive retail experience at the airport and its offerings of product tastings, branded apparel and distilled beverages. House Spirits Distillery is currently the first distillery in the world to operate a spirits tasting room within an airport location.[11][12]

In addition to selling spirits and other curated items, House Spirits Distillery will also provide mini classes to introduce PDX fliers to their products during airport down time. The new retail experience is inspired by their new facility in Southeast Portland which opened in November 2015 and expanded the company's production capacity sixfold.


Portland's first airport was the Swan Island Municipal Airport,[13] northwest of downtown Portland on the Willamette River. The Port of Portland purchased 256 acres (104 ha) and construction began in 1926. Charles Lindbergh flew in and dedicated the new airfield in 1927.

By 1935 it was becoming apparent to the Port of Portland that the airport was becoming obsolete.[13] The small airfield couldn't easily be expanded, nor could it accommodate the larger aircraft and passenger loads expected to become common to Portland. Plans immediately were conceived to relocate the outdated airfield to a larger site. The Swan Island area is now used by the Port of Portland as an industrial park.[14]

Construction and early operations

The Portland City Council purchased the present PDX site in 1936. It was 700 acres (280 ha) bordered by the Columbia River in the north and the Columbia Slough in the south. The city council issued US$300,000 and asked the Port of Portland to sponsor a US$1.3 million Works Progress Administration (WPA) grant to develop the site into a "super airport". The project provided badly needed Great Depression-era jobs.[15] Construction of the airport steadily employed over 1,000 men, and was described by historian Neil Barker as "Portland's most significant public works improvement during the New Deal era".[16] The WPA and Port of Portland faced difficulties in preparing the site for construction because the low-lying area was frequently covered by flood waters from the Columbia River. Workers covered the area with over 4 million cubic yards of sand to help drain it of water, and constructed a series of dikes to control flooding. Two runways capable of serving the modern aircraft of the time were operational by 1941.[16] The airport was designated PortlandColumbia Airport to distinguish it from then-operating Swan Island Airport. During World War II, the airfield was used by the United States Army Air Forces.

The "super airport" had a terminal on the north side, off Marine Drive, and five runways (NE-SW, NW-SE, and an E-W runway forming an asterisk). This configuration was adequate until a new terminal and a longer, 8,800-foot (2,700 m) eastwest runway were constructed in 1952. View airport diagrams: 1955 and 1965

In 1948 the entire airport grounds were flooded during the Vanport Flood, forcing scheduled airline services to reroute to nearby Troutdale Airport. The grounds were under water for several months.

New terminal (1950s)

A new terminal opened in 1959, which for the most part serves as the present facility.[17] The new terminal is located to the east of the original runways, and north of the then-new 8,800 ft (2,700 m) runway. Construction of a second eastwest runway to the north made this a midfield terminal. At this point, all but the NE-SW (3/21) runway in the original "X" were abandoned and turned into taxiways. 3/21 was extended for use as a cross-wind runway. "International" was added to the airport's official designation after the 1950s-era improvements.

Plans made in 1968 to add a third runway by means of filling in parts of the Columbia River were met with vocal public opposition and scrapped. The airport switched from screening passengers at individual gates to screening all visitors at concourse entrances in 1973 as new FAA regulations went into effect.[18] In 1974, the south runway was extended to 11,000 feet (3,400 m) to service the newest jumbo jets. The terminal building was renovated and expanded in 1977.[17]

By the 1980s, the terminal building began an extensive renovation in order to update PDX to meet future needs. The ticketing and baggage claim areas were renovated and expanded, and a new Concourse D for Alaska Airlines was added in 1986.[19] Concourse E was first to be reconstructed in 1992, and featured PDX's first moving sidewalks.[17] The Oregon Marketplace, a small shopping mall, was added in the former waiting areas behind the ticket counters.

The early 1990s saw a food court and extension added to Concourse C, and the opening of the new Concourse D in 1994.[17] This marked the first concessions inside secured areas, allowing passengers to purchase items without having to be re-screened.

An expanded parking garage, new control tower, and canopy over the curbside were finished in the late 1990s. Although hailed by architectural critics, the canopy blocked views of Mount Hood from the curbside. On July 31, 1997, during construction, the garage addition collapsed due to inadequate bolts holding girders together and inadequate securing of structural members, killing three steelworkers.[20]

The present H-shape of the PDX terminal, designed by Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership,[21] was completed on September 10, 2001 when the new A, B and C concourses, as well as the light rail line, were finished. Probably the most stunning portion of PDX's interior, the new concourses reflect a Northwest theme, focusing heavily on the nearby Columbia River. A huge celebration was to be held the following weekend, but the events of September 11, 2001 interceded. The new concourses, designed to be public spaces, were closed to non-passengers.

In August 2005, the concourse connector was opened.[22] This is a long hallway on the secure side of the airport that connects the A, B and C concourses to the D and E concourses on the other side of the airport. If there is a long line at the checkpoint at one end of the airport, passengers may use the other checkpoint and walk through the connector to their desired concourse.[23]

The airport's carpet, installed in 1987, was designed to stylize the criss-crossing north and south runways. Beginning in 2014, a new design replaced the original pattern. In response, many residents created products to celebrate the carpet as a local icon.[24][25]

In December 2016, The Port of Portland renovated the security checkpoints and immigration facilities as part of its PDXNext project. This included the relocation, and wider of the exit lanes by the security checkpoints and upgraded security on both sides of the terminal.[26]

Domestic service

The April 1957 OAG shows 38 United departures per day, ten West Coast, eight Northwest and six Western. Alaska had four a week and Pacific Northern had three; Pan Am and Northwest both flew SEA-PDX-HNL and back, Pan Am with five DC-7C round trips a week and Northwest with four DC-6Bs. Portland's first jets were Pan Am 707-321s about October 1959.

In 1966 PDX had nonstop flights to SLC, DEN, ORD and no other cities farther east than Boise; in 1977 nonstops reached LAS-PHX-DEN-DFW-ORD and no others east of Boise. In 1967 United started PDX's first transcon nonstop, to JFK; it ended in 1973.

By 1974, the airport was served by Braniff, Cascade, Continental, Eastern, Hughes Airwest, Northwest Orient, Pan Am, United and Western, and the Seattle route was served by seven airlines with aircraft as large as Boeing 747s.[27]

Air Oregon started short-haul service from Portland following deregulation in 1978, and by 1979 had routes to seven other cities in Oregon.[28]

In the 1980s Air California had nonstop flights to Seattle, Reno and the Bay Area; PSA (Pacific Southwest Airlines) had nonstops to San Francisco and one or two to Reno and Sacramento. In 2010 Northwest's former Honolulu service was eliminated by Delta altogether. In 2015, Delta resumed its seasonal service to Honolulu.

United was the dominant carrier at PDX during the regulated era and through the 1980s.[29]

International service

The first international nonstop was Western's 720B to Vancouver in 1967.

United Airlines, then the dominant carrier at PDX, used Portland as a once-weekly stop for its ChicagoO'Hare-TokyoNarita service from 1983 to 1987. The flight stopped in Seattle/Tacoma six days a week and in Portland once a week. After United Airlines acquired Pan American World Airways' Asian routes in 1986, they were able to use Pan American World Airways' Boeing 747SP aircraft to eliminate the West Coast stop.[29]

As United Airlines made plans to end Tokyo service from Portland, Delta Air Lines applied to begin Atlanta-Tokyo service via Portland using Lockheed L-1011 aircraft. Like United Airlines, Delta Air Lines lacked aircraft that could fly to Japan nonstop from the eastern United States; Delta Air Lines also lacked a West Coast hub at the time, and saw Portland as favorable international and domestic hub over Seattle, which was dominated by Northwest Airlines. After beginning Tokyo service in 1986, Delta Air Lines added a flight to Seoul in 1988, coinciding with the 1988 Summer Olympics; the Seoul flight was later extended to Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, and Taipei. By 1994, Delta Air Lines had introduced McDonnell Douglas MD-11 aircraft, and added another transpacific flight to Nagoya and domestic flights to New York City, Anchorage, Fairbanks, and other destinations. Delta Air Lines's hub had peaked in 1998, with additional service to Osaka and Fukuoka.[29]

The 1997 Asian Financial Crisis hurt Delta Air Lines's operation, and international travel decreased even further due to complaints about treatment at the immigration facility in Portland, leading it to be nicknamed "DePortland".[30][31] The combination of these factors caused Delta Air Lines to discontinue what was then the last direct flight from Portland to Tokyo and from Portland to Nagoya in March 2001.[32] This change brought local media scrutiny. This then combined with the resulting congressional pressure, caused the officials in charge of the immigration facility to address the problems.

Meanwhile, local travel businesses had begun recruiting other carriers. Lufthansa started direct flights to Frankfurt, Germany, in 2003,[33] but suspended the route in 2009 citing lack of profitability.[34] Northwest Airlines introduced non-stop flights to TokyoNarita on June 10, 2004, reviving a route terminated by Delta.[35] Mexicana Airlines also introduced service to Guadalajara and Mexico City; after 5 years of service, Mexicana Airlines withdrew in 2008 due to high fuel prices and change in demand.[36]

Northwest Airlines added nonstop service to Amsterdam in 2008, which was at one time planned to continue to Mumbai. The service was reduced that year to a Northwest-operated Delta-flown 767-300, and occasionally a Northwest-operated Delta-flown 767-400.[37][38] The service has since been fluctuating between 767-300s, 767-400s and A330-300s depending on the season. Air Canada operated seasonal service to TorontoPearson from 2010 to 2012 but was then resumed in May 2016.[39][40] Since 2014, three more foreign carriers have begun service at PDX: Volaris with service to Guadalajara, Condor with seasonal service to Frankfurt, and Icelandair with seasonal service to ReykjavíkKeflavík.

On May 31, 2016, Delta Air Lines announced seasonal nonstop service to LondonHeathrow in the United Kingdom, which began on May 26, 2017.[41]

Following its acquisition of Northwest, Delta Air Lines has maintained Northwest's nonstop flights to Amsterdam and Tokyo. The latter required a direct transfer of $3.5 million to Delta Air Lines by the Port of Portland to subsidize the route.[42]

In May 2017, Delta Air Lines and Aeroméxico announced new non-stop service from Portland to Mexico City using Aeroméxico flown Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which began on December 1, 2017, but ended on January 7, 2019.[43][44]

In December 2019, British Airways announced non-stop service from Portland to London Heathrow using a 787-8 that will operate five times weekly, beginning 1 June 2020.[45]


There is one passenger terminal in the airport, with five concourses split between two sides. These two sides are connected beyond the security by the "Concourse Connector," a walkway that opened in August 2005.[46] The airport also offers many complimentary services such as free Wi-Fi wireless internet access, a children's play area, and postal services.

The airport has a shopping mall behind its ticketing counters, with all shops and restaurants open every day. Because the state is one of the few in the nation with no sales tax, all stores offer tax-free shopping. The Port of Portland also requires all airport shops and restaurants to practice fair retail pricingbusinesses are not allowed to charge more than at off-airport locations.[47] Stores include national stores and Oregon-based ones such as Made in Oregon, Nike, Columbia Sportswear, Powell's Books, and Oregon Pendleton Shop among others. Food services also are a mix of national chains and local options.[47]

Several local food carts are located within the pre-security concourse.[48]

Concourses and terminals

The two sections of the main terminal (South and North) at Portland International Airport have five concourses (A, B, C, D, E). In addition, Portland International Airport handles many operations from a variety of cargo transportation airlines.

The international section of Concourse D was renamed the Governor Victor G. Atiyeh International Concourse to honor the former Oregon governor, who was also known as "Trader Vic" for launching international tourism and trade initiatives during his gubernatorial term.

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are the airport's largest passenger carriers.[49]

South Terminal
  • Concourse A has 14 gates (A1A14) *This concourse permanently closed on November 14, 2019 to make room for a Concourse B extension*
  • Concourse B has 4 gates (B1B4)
  • Concourse C has 23 gates (C1C23)
North Terminal
  • Concourse D has 15 gates (D1D15)
  • Concourse E has 4 gates (E1E4)

There are 60 gates within the two passenger terminals.[49]

Future developments

In the latter half of 2016, the Port of Portland and several airlines at PDX approved a project intended to balance the use of the terminal and concourses at Portland International Airport. The subsequent project will extend Concourse E by 750 feet and add 6 new gates to the facility. After this project Southwest Airlines will relocate its operations from Concourse C to the newly expanded Concourse E, alongside United Airlines. With the relocation of Southwest Airlines to Concourse E, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines and JetBlue Airways will be the primary users of Concourses A, B, and C. Construction on this project began in the spring of 2017. Significant completion is forecast by June 2020.[50][51]

Starting in November 2019, Concourse A will be demolished due to the age and space of the structure and be replaced by an expanded Concourse B. The extension is expected to cost $100 million and will feature 4 jet bridges, 6 ground loading zones, and improved concession stands. All Horizon operations that operate out of Concourse A will be temporarily moved to Concourse C until the expanded Concourse B is finished. Work officially began on November 14, 2019 with the closure of Concourse A, and is estimated to be completed by 2021.[52][53][54]

Airport lounges
South Terminal
  • Concourse A: None
  • Concourse B: None
  • Concourse C: Alaska Airlines - across from Gate C5.
North Terminal

Airlines and destinations

Air Canada Express Calgary, Vancouver [55]
Air Canada Rouge Seasonal: TorontoPearson [55]
Alaska Airlines Albuquerque, Anchorage, Austin, Billings, Boise, Boston, Bozeman, Burbank, ChicagoO'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, DallasLove, Eugene, Everett, Fresno, Honolulu, Kahului, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Medford, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Missoula, Newark, New YorkJFK, Oakland, Ontario, Orange County, Orlando, Palm Springs, PhoenixSky Harbor, Redmond/Bend, Reno/Tahoe, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (CA), San Luis Obispo (begins June 18, 2020),[56] Santa Barbara, Santa Rosa, Seattle/Tacoma, Spokane, Vancouver, WashingtonNational
Seasonal: Baltimore, KailuaKona, Kalispell, Kansas City, Lihue, Omaha, Puerto Vallarta, San José del Cabo, Tucson
American Airlines Charlotte, ChicagoO'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, PhoenixSky Harbor
Seasonal: Philadelphia
American Eagle Los Angeles [58]
Boutique Air Pendleton [59]
British Airways LondonHeathrow (begins June 1, 2020)[60] [61]
Condor Seasonal: Frankfurt [62]
Delta Air Lines Amsterdam, Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New YorkJFK, Salt Lake City, Seattle/Tacoma, TokyoHaneda (begins March 28, 2020),[63] TokyoNarita (ends March 27, 2020)[63][64]
Seasonal: LondonHeathrow
Delta Connection Las Vegas (begins April 1, 2020),[66] Seattle/Tacoma [65]
Frontier Airlines Denver, Las Vegas [67]
Hawaiian Airlines Honolulu, Kahului [68]
Icelandair Seasonal: ReykjavíkKeflavík [69]
JetBlue Long Beach, New YorkJFK
Seasonal: Anchorage, Boston
JSX Seattle-Boeing (begins April 2, 2020)[71]
Southwest Airlines Burbank, ChicagoMidway, DallasLove, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Ontario, PhoenixSky Harbor, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose (CA), St. Louis
Seasonal: Albuquerque, Baltimore, Kansas City, Nashville (begins June 13, 2020)[72]
Spirit Airlines Las Vegas [74]
Sun Country Airlines Las Vegas, Minneapolis/St. Paul, San Francisco
Seasonal: Honolulu, Madison (begins June 3, 2020),[75] Nashville, Palm Springs, PhoenixSky Harbor, San Antonio, San Diego, San José del Cabo, St. Louis
United Airlines ChicagoO'Hare, Denver, HoustonIntercontinental, Newark, San Francisco, WashingtonDulles [77]
United Express San Francisco [77]
Volaris Guadalajara [78]
WestJet Encore Calgary [79]
AirNet Express DenverCentennial, Oakland
AirPac Airlines[80] Redmond/Bend, SeattleBoeing
Amazon Air Baltimore, Chicago/Rockford, Cincinnati, Hartford, HoustonIntercontinental, Ontario, PhoenixSky Harbor, Tampa
Ameriflight Astoria, Boise, Brookings, Burns, Corvallis, Crescent City, Eugene, Grants Pass, Hermiston, Kalispell, Klamath Falls, La Grande, Medford, Newport, North Bend/Coos Bay, Oakland, Pendleton, Portland/Hillsboro, Redmond/Bend, Roseburg, Sacramento, SacramentoExecutive, Salem, Salt Lake City, SeattleBoeing, Tacoma, Tillamook, Yakima
Cathay Pacific Cargo[81] Anchorage, ChicagoO'Hare, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, New YorkJFK
DHL Aviation Los Angeles, Seattle/Tacoma
FedEx Express Austin, Boise, Fort Worth/Alliance, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Memphis, Newark, Oakland, Ontario, Orange County, PhoenixSky Harbor, Seattle/Tacoma
FedEx Feeder Corvallis, Eugene, Klamath Falls, Medford, Newport, North Bend/Coos Bay, Redmond/Bend, Roseburg, Salem
Martinaire Eugene
UPS Airlines Albuquerque, Anchorage, Boston, Billings, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, ChicagoO'Hare, Chicago/Rockford, Dallas/Fort Worth, Des Moines, Fargo, Fresno, Harrisburg, Hartford, Kansas City, Little Rock, Louisville, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Oakland, Omaha, Ontario, Orange County, Philadelphia, PhoenixSky Harbor, Reno/Tahoe, Sacramento, SacramentoMather, Salt Lake City, San Bernardino, SeattleBoeing, Spokane, St. Louis, Vancouver, Wichita
Western Air Express Boise, Salt Lake City, SeattleBoeing, Spokane


Top destinations
Busiest domestic routes from PDX (October 2018 September 2019)[82]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Los Angeles, California 709,000 Alaska, American, Delta, Southwest
2 San Francisco, California 662,000 Alaska, Southwest, Sun Country, United
3 Seattle/Tacoma, Washington 658,230 Alaska, Delta
4 Denver, Colorado 543,000 Frontier, Southwest, United
5 Las Vegas, Nevada 492,000 Alaska, Southwest, Spirit, Sun Country
6 PhoenixSky Harbor, Arizona 458,000 Alaska, American, Southwest, Sun Country
7 San Jose, California 378,000 Alaska, Southwest
8 Salt Lake City, Utah 345,000 Alaska, Delta
9 ChicagoO'Hare, Illinois 344,015 Alaska, American, United
10 San Diego, California 289,029 Alaska, Southwest, Sun Country
Busiest international routes to and from PDX (Jan. 2017 Dec. 2017)[83]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Vancouver, Canada 206,766 Air Canada, Alaska
2 Amsterdam, Netherlands 153,519 Delta
3 TokyoNarita, Japan 107,095 Delta
4 Guadalajara, Mexico 60,458 Volaris
5 ReykjavíkKeflávik, Iceland 44,584 Icelandair
6 Calgary, Canada 42,763 Air Canada
7 Frankfurt, Germany 35,947 Condor
8 Toronto, Canada 25,869 Air Canada
9 London, United Kingdom 23,265 Delta
10 San José del Cabo, Mexico 18,346 Alaska
Airline market share
Largest Airlines at PDX (Oct 2018 Sept 2019)[84]
Rank Airline Passengers Share
1 Alaska Airlines 4,940,000 26.40%
2 Southwest Airlines 3,395,000 18.14%
3 Horizon Air 2,469,000 13.20%
4 Delta Air Lines 2,318,000 12.38%
5 United Airlines 2,072,000 11.07%
Annual traffic
Annual passenger traffic at PDX, 1999-Present[85][86][87]
Year Passengers Year Passengers
1999 13,721,684 2009 12,929,675
2000 13,790,115 2010 13,192,857
2001 12,703,676 2011 13,675,924
2002 12,241,975 2012 14,390,750
2003 12,396,068 2013 15,029,569
2004 13,038,057 2014 15,916,512
2005 13,879,701 2015 16,850,952
2006 14,043,489 2016 18,352,767
2007 14,654,222 2017 19,080,444
2008 14,299,234 2018 19,882,788

Ground transportation

Public transit service to the airport is provided by TriMet, the metropolitan area's primary transit agency, with its MAX Red Line light rail service. During late nights, service is provided by the 272-PDX Night Bus route.[88] The 1986-opened MAX Light Rail system was extended to the airport in 2001.[89] The Red Line originally provided service as far as downtown Portland only, but in 2003 was extended beyond downtown, to Beaverton.[90] The light rail station is located only about 150 ft (50 m) from the airport's baggage claim area.[89] Prior to 2001, TriMet service to the airport consisted of bus route 72-82nd Avenue from 1970[91] to 1986, and route 12-Sandy Blvd. from 1986[92] to 2001.[93]

By road, the terminal is accessible from exit 24 on Interstate 205.

Accidents and incidents

  • On October 1, 1966, West Coast Airlines Flight 956 crashed in an desolate section of the Mount Hood National Forest during descent into Portland International Airport. Of the 18 passengers and crew, there were no survivors. The probable cause of the accident was "the descent of the aircraft below its clearance limit and below that of surrounding obstructing terrain, but the Board was unable to determine the cause of such descent." The accident was the first loss of a Douglas DC-9.
  • On December 28, 1978, United Airlines Flight 173 was en route to Portland International Airport from Stapleton International Airport in Denver, Colorado. On approach to Portland International Airport, the crew lowered the landing gear which caused a loud thump, abnormal vibration, unusual yaw, and the landing gear indicator lights failed to light. The plane circled Portland while the crew investigated the problem. After about an hour, the plane exhausted its fuel supply and crashed into the suburban neighborhood of East Burnside Street and NE 158th Ave. Of the 189 passengers and crew on board, ten died and twenty four more were injured. An investigation revealed that the crash was caused by "the failure of the captain to properly monitor the aircraft's fuel state". This accident's investigation led to substantially improved aviation safety by widespread adoption of crew resource management which emphasizes crew teamwork and communication instead of a command hierarchy.[94]
  • On February 16, 2008, visibility of 1/8 mile was a possible factor in the fatal accident that took the life of the pilot, Oregon doctor Richard Otoski, a Klamath Falls dermatologist flying his Columbia 400. The accident took place just short of runway 10R at Portland International Airport. Otoski was the only person on board the aircraft, manufactured by the former Lancair Company. "Damn it... we're gonna crash" were the last words PDX controllers heard from N621ER.[95] The aircraft was apparently in the process of making another missed approach in poor visibility following the ILS when it clipped an airport perimeter fence, crashed, and soon caught fire. The aircraft had departed from Klamath Falls 90 minutes earlier.[96]

Airport ratings

Travel + Leisure

In 2013, a Travel + Leisure magazine readers' poll named PDX as the best US airport, based on its on-time record, dining, shopping, and mass transportation into the main parts of the city.[97] In 2015, ten new restaurants opened at PDX, making it a "foodie haven" according to travelers.[98] PDX also got significant recognition for its unique carpet pattern, which was replaced throughout the entire airport with newer carpet that contains a similar design.

Condé Nast Traveler

In 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010, PDX was identified as the top airport for business travelers in the United States by Condé Nast Traveler magazine.[99][100] The Condé Nast ranking was based upon criteria including location and access, ease of connections, food, shops, amenities, comfort and design, and perceived safety and security; PDX received the top overall score, and the magazine noted the airport's environmentally friendly initiatives, including the airport's use of solar panels for power, its connection to the MAX Light Rail, and the recycling of its restaurants' used oil and grease.

J. D. Power and Associates

The 2015, 2016, and 2019 J.D. Power and Associates rankings for US "Large Passenger Airports" lists PDX at the #1 spot and overall highest amongst passenger satisfaction criteria.[101][102]

Air Line Pilots Association, International

In 2015 the Air Line Pilots Association, International, Airport and Ground Environment Group recognized Portland International Airport as the recipient of the Airport of the Year. The award was given as a result of the collaboration and partnering between PDX and ALPA on important on-going airport safety and construction issues.[103]


See also


  1. ^ a b FAA Airport Master Record for PDX (Form 5010 PDF), effective 2007-12-20
  2. ^ "PDX Aviation Statistics" (PDF). Port of Portland. January 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 28, 2019. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  3. ^ Loy, William G. (2001). Atlas of Oregon. Eugene, Oregon: University of Oregon Press. p. 111. ISBN 0-87114-102-7.
  4. ^ "Atlantic Aviation Acquires Flightcraft PDX and EUG". AviationPros. July 28, 2011. Archived from the original on December 2, 2013. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
  5. ^ "Portland International Airport - Bicycle Resources". Port of Portland. Archived from the original on January 28, 2016. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  6. ^ "New PDX Bike Assembly Station Helps Cyclists Get Rolling". Port of Portland. Archived from the original on August 6, 2017. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  7. ^ Baskas, Harriet (December 30, 2015). "Mini-movie theater to open at Portland International Airport". USA Today. Archived from the original on August 7, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  8. ^ "Mini movie theater coming to Portland International Airport". KTVZ News.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "A mini movie theater is coming to Portland airport". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. Associated Press. December 30, 2015. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  10. ^ "The Portland Airport Opened a Mini Movie Theater and it's Packing Houses". Portland Monthly. Archived from the original on April 26, 2017. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  11. ^ "House Spirits Distillery Announces Plans for World's First-Ever Airport Tasting Room at PDX" (Press release). BevNET. January 14, 2016. Archived from the original on March 28, 2016. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  12. ^ Walker, Mason (January 13, 2016). "Kenny & Zukes, distillery tasting room highlight 11 new Portland airport shops and restaurants". Portland Business Journal. Archived from the original on August 6, 2017. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  13. ^ a b City of Portland Archives (February 1, 2012). "Swan Island Airport, 1935". Vintage Portland. Archived from the original on May 22, 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2012. Portland's main airport on Swan Island was only open a few years before it became obvious that the site offered little expansion room. The year after this 1935 photo, land was purchased along the Columbia River for a new airport.
  14. ^ Bui, Hien; Kain, Michelle (February 14, 2011). "Airport History". Center for Columbia River History. Archived from the original on May 19, 2006. Retrieved October 21, 2006.
  15. ^ Robbins G., William (2002). "Subtopic : Oregon in Depression and War, 19251945: The Most Visible of Relief Agencies". The Oregon History Project. Oregon Historical Society. Archived from the original on November 26, 2010. Retrieved August 29, 2008.
  16. ^ a b Neil Barker (Winter 2000). "Portland's Works Progress Administration". Oregon Historical Quarterly. 101 (4): 42021. JSTOR 20615092.
  17. ^ a b c d "Portland International Airport Timeline". Daily Journal of Commerce. Portland. June 30, 2003. Archived from the original on September 1, 2014. Retrieved June 27, 2012.
  18. ^ "Portland Airport's Security Screening Procedures to Shift". The Oregonian. Portland. January 4, 1973. p. 24.
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