Felts Field looking west
|Elevation AMSL||1,957 ft / 596 m|
Felts Field, Spokane's historic airfield, is on the south bank of the Spokane River east of Spokane. Aviation activities began in 1913. In 1920 the field, then called the Parkwater airstrip, was designated a municipal flying field at the instigation of the Spokane Chamber of Commerce. In 1926, the United States Department of Commerce officially recognized Parkwater as an airport, one of the first in the West. In September 1927, in conjunction with Spokane’s National Air Derby and Air Races, the airport was renamed Felts Field for James Buell Felts (1898–1927), a Washington Air National Guard aviator killed in a crash that May. Parkwater Aviation Field, later Felts Field, was the location for flight instruction, charter service, airplane repair, aerial photography, headquarters of the 116th Observation Squadron of the Washington Air National Guard, and eventually the first airmail and commercial flights in and out of Spokane. After World War II, commercial air traffic moved to Geiger Field (later Spokane International Airport). Felts Field remains a busy regional hub for private and small-plane aviation and related businesses and services. In 1991 it was designated Felts Field Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.
Today the airport is used for general aviation. No scheduled passenger service remains at Felts, though commercial scheduled Part 135 cargo operations remain via UPS and DHL contracting (Ameriflight LLC and previously Merlin Express Airways).
Felts Field covers 416 acres (168 ha) at an elevation of 1,957 feet (596 m). It has two runways: 4L/22R is 4,499 by 150 feet (1,371 x 46 m) concrete and 4R/22L is 2,650 by 75 feet (808 x 23 m) asphalt. It has a seaplane landing area designated 3W/21W, 6,000 by 100 feet (1,829 x 30 m).
In 2009 the airport had 75,124 aircraft operations, average 205 per day: 89% general aviation, 11% air taxi, and <1% military. 163 aircraft were then based at this airport: 69% single-engine, 22% multi-engine, 1% jet and 8% helicopter.
Accidents and incidents
On November 29, 2003 an Ameriflight LLC cargo (Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner) (N439AF) crashed on approach to runway 21R at Felts Field using ILS. The pilot's HSI was previously noted as inoperative, deferred, and due for scheduled maintenance. It is unclear whether the pilot was using backup instrumentation as prescribed via the deferral process or using the faulty HSI. The Metro III failed to maintain ILS glide slope and crashed short of the runway into rising terrain and trees. The pilot was killed during the subsequent impact and fire. The aircraft was damaged beyond repair.
- Aviation: From Sand Dunes to Sonic Booms, a National Park Service Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary
- (PDF), effective April 27, 2017
- FAA Terminal Procedures for SFF, effective April 27, 2017
- Resources for this airport: