Arlington Municipal Airport (Washington)

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Arlington Municipal Airport
Aerial KAWO May 2012.JPG
Airport type Public
Owner City of Arlington
Operator City of Arlington
Serves Arlington, Washington
Location 3 nm southwest of the CBD
Elevation AMSL 142 ft / 43 m
Coordinates 48°09′39″N 122°09′32″W / 48.16083°N 122.15889°W / 48.16083; -122.15889
Direction Length Surface
ft m
16/34 5,332 1,625 Asphalt
11/29 3,498 1,066 Asphalt
Aircraft operations (2015) 133,492
Based aircraft (2017) 513
Plan view of Arlington Municipal Airport with boundaries outlined in red

Arlington Municipal Airport (ICAO: KAWO, FAA LID: AWO) is a public airport located three miles (5 km) southwest of the central business district of Arlington, a city in Snohomish County, Washington, United States. It is owned and operated by the City of Arlington.[1][2][3]

Although many U.S. airports use the same three-letter location identifier for the FAA and IATA, this airport is assigned AWO by the FAA but has no designation from the IATA.

It is included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021, in which it is categorized as a regional general aviation facility.[4]


Construction of Arlington Municipal Airport was approved on February 23, 1934. The first airplane took off on June 13, 1934 and the airport was officially dedicated on July 4, 1935.

U.S. Naval Auxiliary Air Station, Arlington, Washington was established in 1940, when the United States Navy leased the airstrip from the town of Arlington to supplement training facilities at Seattle. However, no important construction took place until 1942. In that year the Navy permitted the Army to develop the field as a strategic base for medium bombers to counteract the Japanese invasion of the Aleutian Islands. Early in 1943 the Japanese threat in the Aleutians diminished and at the same time the Naval carrier program required additional training fields within reach of gunnery ranges in the Puget Sound area. By August 14, 1945 Arlington was a well-balanced station equipped to support two light carrier Air groups for either day or night operations. No major projects were pending at that time, and it was felt that none remained to be undertaken unless a significant addition was made to the functions of the station.

At the close of World War II, the U.S. military reduced funding and operations around the United States. On October 10, 1945 notification was received from the Chief of Naval Operations that Arlington would be reduced to a caretaker status on December 1, 1945.

The airfield and hangar complex has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 195.[5]


Currently, the airport is host to several businesses making significant contributions to the aviation industry. Some activities include flight instruction, emergency parachute manufacturing, kit plane and sailplane sales/manufacturing, historic and decommissioned aircraft restoration, aircraft upholstery, aircraft cover manufacturing, and much more. The airport is home to corporate & decommissioned military jets, vintage aircraft, experimental aircraft, aerobatic aircraft, helicopters, gliders, and ultralights. The grassroots aviation presence at Arlington is very strong, rivaling that of many larger airports across the United States, including nearby Paine Field (KPAE).

The City continues to support general aviation through financing, planning and development. During the 1995 Master Plan update, the City planned and developed the airport specifically for general aviation use. Items specific to general aviation included in the 2002 Master Plan Update were additional T-hangars, a 100’ by 1,000’ (50’ pavement / 50’ turf) ultralight runway, and a compass rose.

In the 1990s, the airport was selected by the Puget Sound Regional Council as a candidate for expansion into a regional airport to relieve Seattle–Tacoma International Airport.[6] The council decided instead to construct a third runway at Sea-Tac in 1996,[7] leaving Arlington to redevelop its airport for general aviation.

In April 2014, the airport saw the arrival of President Barack Obama in Marine One, the presidential helicopter, after flying from Paine Field in Everett. The President then continued by motorcade to Oso, scene of a fatal mudslide.[8][9]

Facilities and aircraft[edit]

Arlington Municipal Airport covers an area of 1,189 acres (481 ha) which contains two asphalt paved runways: 16/34 measuring 5,332 x 100 ft (1,625 x 30 m) and 11/29 measuring 3,498 x 75 ft (1,066 x 23 m).[1]

For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2015, the airport had 133,492 aircraft operations, an average of 365 per day: 98% general aviation, 2% air taxi and <1% military. In July 2017, there were 513 aircraft based at Arlington: 366 single-engine, 19 multi-engine, 11 jet, 12 helicopter, 45 glider and 60 ultralight.[1]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On May 14, 2011, the pilot of a lightweight CZAW SportCruiser aircraft died after his plane burst into flame shortly after landing at Arlington.[10]


  • Arlington Centennial 1903-2003: A Pictorial History of Arlington, Washington
  • Information for this article was obtained from legal documents, government documents, correspondence, original applications, and newspaper articles from The Arlington Times.
  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for AWO (Form 5010 PDF), effective July 20, 2017
  2. ^ KAWO - Arlington Municipal Airport - Arlington, Washington at Great Circle Mapper
  3. ^ Arlington Municipal Airport has no airport code assigned by International Air Transport Association (IATA) because scheduled airline service is neither available nor anticipated.
  4. ^ "List of NPIAS Airports" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2017. 
  5. ^ "National Register of Historic Places: Naval Auxiliary Air Station, Arlington". National Park Service. Retrieved June 17, 2018. 
  6. ^ Brooks, Diane (September 12, 1994). "Airport-site battle heats up". The Seattle Times. p. B1. 
  7. ^ Seinfeld, Keith (July 12, 1996). "Runway battle to land in court: regional panel OKs Sea-Tac expansion". The Seattle Times. p. A1. 
  8. ^ Camden, Jim (April 22, 2014). "Obama in Oso: Reports from the pool". Spokesman-Review. Retrieved June 17, 2018. 
  9. ^ Boxleitner, Kirk (April 23, 2014). "President Obama visits Oso community". The Arlington Times. Retrieved June 17, 2018. 
  10. ^ Wong, Queenie (May 16, 2011). "Pilot killed in Arlington crash ID'd as emeritus UW prof". The Seattle Times. Retrieved March 10, 2017. 

External links[edit]