Portland International Airport
|Portland International Airport|
|Portland International Airport from the air.|
|PDX airport diagram.|
|IATA: PDX – ICAO: KPDX – FAA LID: PDX
|Owner||Port of Portland|
|Operator||Port of Portland|
|Serves||Portland metropolitan area|
|Elevation AMSL||30 ft / 9 m|
|Aircraft operations (2012)||216,195|
|Based aircraft (2007)||92|
Portland International Airport (IATA: PDX, ICAO: KPDX, FAA LID: PDX) is a joint civil-military airport and the largest airport in the U.S. state of Oregon, accounting for 90% of passenger travel and more than 95% of air cargo of the state. It is located within Portland's city limits just south of the Columbia River in Multnomah County, six miles by air and twelve miles by highway northeast of downtown Portland. Portland International Airport is often referred to by its IATA airport code, PDX.
PDX has direct connections to major airport hubs throughout the United States, plus non-stop international flights to Canada, Japan, and the Netherlands. It is a hub for United Express affiliate SkyWest Airlines for flights to smaller cities in Oregon and California. The airport is a major hub for Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, and serves as a maintenance facility for Horizon Air. Small regional carrier SeaPort Airlines is headquartered and operates its Pacific Northwest hub at PDX. General aviation services are provided at PDX by Flightcraft. The Oregon Air National Guard has a base located on the southwest portion of the grounds, the host unit of which is the 142d Fighter Wing (142 FW) flying the F-15 Eagle. Local transportation includes light rail on the MAX Red Line and Interstate 205.
The main terminal consists of one building roughly "H"-shaped and is divided into five concourses. Concourses A, B, and C are on the south side of the terminal and concourses D and E are on the north; the two sides are connected beyond security checkpoints by a walkway opened in August 2005. PDX offers services including free Wi-Fi wireless Internet access, a children's play area, and postal services.
PDX 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 pricing—businesses are not allowed to charge more than at off-airport locations. Stores include national stores and Oregon-based ones such as Made in Oregon, Nike, Columbia Sportswear, Powell's Books, Oregon Pendleton Shop, and The Real Mother Goose among others. Food services also are a mix of national chains and local options.
Statistics and ratings
In 2008, PDX handled 14,299,234 passengers and had non-stop commercial air service to 16 of the 17 most populated US Metropolitan Statistical Areas. There was an average of 1.2 million passengers on 17,600 commercial flight operations per month. The airport also handled 19,500 short tons of air freight per month.
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. 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 its recycling of its restaurants' used oil and grease.
In 2008, a J.D. Power study contradicted the magazine's assessment, ranking the airport 19th in overall airport satisfaction out of 21 U.S. airports with from 10 to 30 million passengers per year. It scored PDX average in the categories of check-in/baggage check, security check, and baggage claims. It also scored at the bottom of several categories, including overall airport satisfaction, airport accessibility, terminal facilities and food and retail services.
Terminals, airlines and destinations
Portland Airport has five concourses (A, B, C, D, E) as well as a business aviation terminal. In addition, a dedicated facility handles cargo operations. Airport Lounges are available from Alaska Airlines, Delta and United.
The international section of Concourse D was renamed the Governor Victor G. Atiyeh International Concourse to honor former Oregon Governor Victor G. Atiyeh, who was also known as "Trader Vic" for launching international tourism and trade initiatives during his term as Oregon Governor.
Note: All international arrivals (except flights from cities with customs preclearance) are handled at the far end of Concourse D, regardless of their departure terminal.
|1||Vancouver International Airport||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada||168,475||Air Canada Jazz, Horizon|
|2||Amsterdam Airport Schiphol||Amsterdam, Netherlands||121,118||Delta|
|3||Narita International Airport||Tokyo, Japan||103,626||Delta|
|4||Toronto Pearson International Airport||Toronto, Ontario, Canada||34,993||Air Canada|
|5||Calgary International Airport||Calgary, Alberta, Canada||15,042||Air Canada Jazz|
|1||Denver, CO||511,000||Frontier, Southwest, United|
|2||Seattle, WA||497,000||Alaska, United|
|3||San Francisco, CA||428,000||Alaska, United, Virgin America|
|4||Phoenix, AZ||413,000||Alaska, Southwest, US Airways|
|5||Las Vegas, NV||388,000||Alaska, Southwest, Spirit|
|6||Los Angeles, CA||347,000||Alaska, United, Virgin America|
|7||Salt Lake City, UT||276,000||Delta, Southwest|
|8||Chicago, IL (O'Hare)||268,000||Alaska, United|
|9||Sacramento, CA||265,000||Alaska, Southwest|
|10||Oakland, CA||236,000||Alaska, Southwest|
City airport history
Portland's main airport has been in two other incarnations. The first was on Swan Island, now used by the Port of Portland for industrial parks, and the second was the 1940s–1950s configuration on the present site known as the "super airport". The third and present configuration was first known as "The International", but is now known as PDX in all common and most official usage.
Swan Island Airport
In 1925 aviation proponents proposed an airport for Portland on Swan Island, northwest of downtown Portland on the Willamette River. The Port of Portland purchased 256 acres (104 ha) and construction began in 1926. Although the airport wasn't completed until 1930, Charles Lindbergh flew in and dedicated the new airfield in 1927.
By 1935 it was becoming apparent to the Port of Portland that the Swan Island Airport was becoming obsolete. 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.
Swan Island Airport was officially named Portland Airport until the opening of the new airport.
Portland-Columbia "Super Airport"
The present PDX site was purchased by the Portland City Council 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 and was completed in 1940. The airport was designated Portland-Columbia Airport to distinguish it from then-operating Swan Island Airport.
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) east-west runway were constructed in 1952. Airport diagrams for 1955 and 1965
International status and expansion
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (August 2010)|
A new terminal opened in 1959, which for the most part serves as the present facility. The new terminal is located to the east of the original runways, and north of the then-new 8,800 ft. runway. Construction of a second east-west 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. 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.
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. Concourse E was first to be reconstructed in 1992, and featured PDX's first moving sidewalks. 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. 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. During construction, the garage addition collapsed, killing a worker.
The present H-shape of the PDX terminal, designed by Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership, 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. 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.
The April 1957 OAG shows 38 United departures a day, 10 West Coast, 8 Northwest and 6 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 5 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.
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.
The first international nonstop was Western's 720B to Vancouver in 1967; that may have been PDX's only international nonstop until Delta started Tokyo almost twenty years later.
Delta Air Lines used Portland as a gateway in the 1990s for extensive service to Asia with its MD-11 aircraft, until the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. International travel decreased even further due to complaints about treatment at the immigration facility in Portland, leading it to be nicknamed "DePortland". The combination of these factors caused Delta to discontinue what was then the last direct flight from PDX to Tokyo's Narita International Airport (NRT) and Nagoya in March 2001. This change brought local media scrutiny, which, when combined with the resulting Congressional pressure, caused those in charge[who?] of the immigration facility to address the problems. Delta resumed a Narita nonstop service in 2009 as part of its acquisition of Northwest.
Meanwhile, local travel businesses had begun recruiting other carriers. Lufthansa started direct flights to Frankfurt, Germany, on March 31, 2003. However, in September 2009, Lufthansa indefinitely suspended the Portland-Frankfurt route citing lack of profitability. Northwest Airlines introduced non stop flights to Tokyo (Narita Airport) on June 10, 2004. Mexicana Airlines also introduced service to Guadalajara, Mexico and Mexico City. After 5 years of service between PDX and Mexico, the service was cancelled by Mexicana Airlines on May 2, 2008, due to high fuel prices and change in demand. This change left Alaska Airlines as the only airline with nonstop services to Mexico, but ended all service from Portland to Mexico in 2010. Northwest Airlines announced on October 9, 2007 the expansion of international service with new A330 nonstop service to Amsterdam that began on March 29, 2008. Though at one time reported to continue to Mumbai by Delta beginning June, 2009, the Amsterdam service was instead reduced that year to a Northwest-operated Delta-flown 767-300. The service has since been upgraded back to an A330-200.
The airport's international service was also featured on The Amazing Race 13 as the arrival airport after all three teams that were in the race arrived on Lufthansa from Frankfurt. Lufthansa ended its service to Frankfurt on September 12, 2009.
Delta Air Lines announced that it will keep its nonstop flights to Amsterdam and Tokyo, the latter requiring a direct transfer of $3.5 million, to Delta, by the Port of Portland to subsidize the route. Also, the airline is eyeing a possibility of a nonstop flight to Paris.
Expansion and improvement
Although some plans have been studied to either replace or relieve PDX traffic, planners continue to prefer expansion. Salem, Oregon's McNary Field (SLE) and the Port of Portland's Hillsboro Airport (HIO) in Washington County have been suggested as future relievers. Between 1993 and 2007, Salem's airport was without scheduled airline flights. With resumption of commercial flights on June 7, 2007, the airport has planned terminal improvements using a preconstructed modular building. However, these flights have since been canceled.
Portland International Airport's south runway was reopened in October 2011 after being completely rebuilt over the 2011 summer. The South Runway Reconstruction Project was the final phase of a three-year tarmac improvement program. The first two years focused on the north runway, with a complete rehabilitation of the existing surface and an extension to each end, allowing it to serve as an interim replacement for the south runway during rebuilding.
The construction project was completed on time and under budget. As the Portland airport's longest, the south runway had seen both routine maintenance and rehabilitation over the years, and the wear and tear of aircraft landings had finally deteriorated the pavement joints and subsurface base. The project team determined that the best long-term approach was to completely rebuild it. Pavement materials were evaluated as part of a life cycle cost analysis, and an all-concrete surface was identified as the preferred alternative. With a pavement design life of 40 years, construction-related aircraft noise impacts on neighborhoods will be lessened in the future.
The new concrete is 19 inches thick and used an estimated 180,000 square yards of materials—enough to pave a two-lane road for about 26 miles. The old asphalt runway, which was excavated in spring 2011, was completely recycled.
- 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, two landing gear indictator 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 a suburban neighborhood. 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 slate".
- Tourism in Portland, Oregon
- Portland-Mulino Airport
- Pearson Field
- Oregon World War II Army Airfields
- Western Air Defense Force (Air Defense Command)
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- "Parading PDX Employees Took Center Stage at Concourse Connector Grand Opening Event". Pdxaminer. Port of Portland. September 2005. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- "PDX Shop Dine Fly". Port of Portland. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
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- "Portland International Airport No. 1". Portland Business Journal. September 22, 2008. Retrieved February 11, 2013. "PDX received the top overall score, and the magazine noted the airport’s green initiatives"
- "PDX Lands Atop Conde Nast's Best Airport List". Portland Business Journal. September 20, 2010. Retrieved September 20, 2010. "Portland International Airport was chosen the best domestic airport by business travelers"
- "Study: Travelers Not Happy With PDX". Portland Business Journal. May 19, 2008. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- Governor Victor G. Atiyeh International Concourse
- "U.S. International Air Passenger and Freight Statistics Report". United States Department of Transportation. 2011. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
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- City of Portland Archives (February 1, 2012). "Swan Island Airport, 1935". Vintage Portland. 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."
- Bui, Hien; Kain, Michelle (February 14, 2011). "Airport History". Center for Columbia River History. Retrieved October 21, 2006.
- Bui, Hien; Kain, Michelle (February 14, 2001). "Noise Yesterday, Noise Today, Noise Tomorrow?". Center for Columbia River History. Archived from the original on May 7, 2007. Retrieved October 21, 2006.
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- "Portland International Airport—Connecting People, Places and Now Concourses with New Concourse Connector". pdxaminer. August 2005. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
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- "INS/PDX Problems". The Oregonian. December 2000. Retrieved January 1, 2007.
- "Delta Cuts Portland Service". Portland Business Journal. September 4, 2000. Retrieved October 21, 2006.
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- Read, Richard (July 6, 2009). "Lufthansa Will End Portland-Frankfurt Flight". The Oregonian (Portland). Retrieved July 6, 2009.
- "Northwest To Fly Portland – Tokyo Nonstop" (Press release). Northwest Airlines. January 7, 2004. Retrieved October 21, 2006.
- McMillan, Dan (March 17, 2003). "Mexicana Adds Service From PDX to Mexico". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved October 21, 2006.
- "Northwest Announces Expansion of Its Global Route System with the Addition of Nonstop Portland-Amsterdam Service" (Press release). Northwest Airlines. October 9, 2007. Retrieved October 13, 2007.
- Walden, Michael (October 8, 2007). "Northwest Airlines Plans Nonstop Flights to Amsterdam". The Oregonian (Portland). Retrieved October 8, 2007.
- Read, Richard (July 6, 2009). "Lufthansa Will End Portland-Frankfurt Flight". The Oregonian (Portland). Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- "Air Canada to Launch Direct Service From PDX to Toronto". The Oregonian (Portland). January 27, 2010. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
- "Keeping the Routes Open". The Oregonian (Portland). June 18, 2010. Retrieved June 18, 2010.
- Read, Richard (September 28, 2010). "Delta Makes PDX Nonstops to Amsterdam and Tokyo Permanent, Eyes Paris". The Oregonian (Portland). Retrieved September 28, 2010.
- Read, Richard (June 3, 2011). "Oregon Becomes First State Cleared to Ship Blueberries to Korea; PDX Officials Seek More Routes". The Oregonian (Portland). Retrieved June 3, 2011.
- "Delta Goes West With New Services From Its Growing Salt Lake City Hub" (Press release). Delta Air Lines, Inc. February 26, 2007. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- Guerrero-Huston, Thelma (October 10, 2008). "Delta Goes Up, Up and Away". Statesman Journal. p. A1. Retrieved October 11, 2008.
- "Port of Portland North Runway Extension site". Port of Portland. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Portland International Airport|
- Official Website.
- Airport Wayfinder: Interactive video guide and detailed information about Portland International Airport.
- (PDF), effective May 2, 2013
- FAA Terminal Procedures for PDX, effective May 2, 2013
- Resources for this airport: