Spokane International Airport

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Spokane International Airport
Geiger Army Airfield
SpokaneInternationalAirport-logo.svg
Aerial GEG August 2010.JPG
Spokane International Airport in 2010, viewed from the south
IATA: GEGICAO: KGEGFAA LID: GEG
Summary
Airport type Public
Owner Spokane County & City of Spokane
Operator Spokane Airport Board
Serves Inland Northwest
Location Spokane, Washington, USA
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 2,385 ft / 727 m
Coordinates 47°37′12″N 117°32′02″W / 47.62000°N 117.53389°W / 47.62000; -117.53389
Website SpokaneAirports.net
Map
KGEG is located in Washington (state)
KGEG
KGEG
Location of Spokane International Airport
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
3/21 11,002 3,353 Asphalt/Concrete
7/25 8,199 2,499 Asphalt
Statistics (2015)
Cargo Increase69,312
Passengers Increase3,133,342
Source: Spokane International Airport[1]

Spokane International Airport (IATA: GEGICAO: KGEGFAA LID: GEG) is a commercial airport located approximately 5 miles (8 km) west of downtown Spokane, Washington. It is the primary airport serving the Inland Northwest, which includes areas such as Spokane, Eastern Washington, Coeur d'Alene, and North Idaho. It is the second largest airport in Washington, serving roughly 3 million passengers annually.

History[edit]

World War II Geiger Field Postcard
Geiger Field in 1943

Known as Sunset Field before 1941, it was purchased from the county by the War Department and renamed Geiger Field after Major Harold Geiger, an Army aviation pioneer who died in a crash in 1927.

During World War II, Geiger Field was a major training base by Second Air Force as a group training airfield for B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombardment units, with new aircraft being obtained from Boeing near Seattle. It was also used by Air Technical Service Command as an aircraft maintenance and supply depot; Deer Park Airport and Felts Field were auxiliaries.

Geiger was closed in late 1945 and turned over to War Assets Administration (WAA), then transferred to Spokane County and developed into a commercial airport. The airport hosted USAF Air Defense Command interceptor units during the Cold War for air defense of Hanford Nuclear Reservation and Grand Coulee Dam. Built in 1942 as the Spokane Air Depot, Fairchild Air Force Base is four miles (7 km) to the west.

It became Spokane's municipal airport in 1946, replacing Felts Field, and received its present name in 1960, after the City of Spokane was allotted Spokane Geiger Field by the Surplus Property Act.[2] The airport code is still GEG, for Geiger Field.

Modern era[edit]

Concourse A and B complex originally opened in 1965

The current Concourse A and B complex opened in 1965 and was designed by Warren C. Heylman and William Trogdon.[3]

Occasional non-stop flights to southern California since the 1970s have been among the first to be suspended during economic downturns.

Growth and expansion[edit]

A second level was added to Concourse A and Concourse B in 1974.[4]

The airport has a Master Plan,[5] which includes a third runway and gates added to Concourse C.

A new control tower has been built south of the airport, replacing the one near Concourse C. The new control tower is the tallest one in the State. The Terminal, Rotunda, and Concourse C Enhancement Project (TRACE) was recently completed, designed by Bernardo/Wills Architects, P.C.[6] The project, which concluded in November 2006, added retail space and expanded security checkpoints in the airport's three concourses, and gave the Rotunda an aesthetic renovation. In 2010, 2000 feet was added to Runway 3–21, and parallel taxiways 'A' and 'G' enabling heavier aircraft departures in summer months.

The airport plans to add another concourse in the next 5–10 years and looks to add more direct flights to the east coast; the Spokane market has been hosting big events and attracting business to the area.[citation needed]

Terminal and Concourses[edit]

The passenger terminal facility at Spokane International Airport consists of three main structures; Concourse A and B in the center, Concourse C to the southwest, and the Ground Transportation Facility to the north. The three structures are immediately adjacent and connected to one another, however the two concourses are not currently linked with an airside connector on the sterile side; as such, connecting passengers need to transit between the concourses through the landside, non-sterile circulation.

Concourse A and B[edit]

Entrance to the Concourse A and B ticketing area.
View of the Rotunda in Concourse A and B

Concourse A and B are located in the same area and are both connected by a Rotunda. Concourse A houses 5 gates (11-15), while Concourse B houses 8 gates (1–8). The two concourses are connected by a central rotunda area with dining and shopping vendors.

The concourse originally opened in 1965 and was designed by Warren C. Heylman and William Trogdon. Designed to the Neo-Expressionism style, the building's architecture prominently features exposed concrete as well as distinct sculpted and monolithic architectural shapes and forms. However, as the airport has continued to incrementally expand through its modern history, some of the original architectural intent of the Concourse A and B complex has been lost. While several expansions to the concourse matched and extended the original architectural style of the building, others additions have altered the original architecture. In 1974, a second floor was added to both Concourses A and B to allow for the implementation of passenger boarding bridge access to aircraft. The new floors, while sharing some material commonality with the original Heylman and Trogdon concourse, lacked the curvy and sculpted neo-expressionistic forms found in the former. The later additions of the ground transportation facility and Concourse C to the ends of the concourse building further altered the original architecture by replacing its distinct bookend elevations and entrances with corridors to the adjacent buildings. Interior renovations in the mid-2000s also removed a large amount of the original sculpted forms and monolithic materials of the Concourse A and B complex, replaced in favor of more rectilinear forms and contemporary finish materials. Despite this, a number of original architectural elements remain and are largely integral to the space today (such as the exposed concrete roof trusses and concrete columns), creating a juxtaposition between the newer elements and the original architecture.

Southwest Airlines is the current primary occupant operating in and out of Concourse A. Delta and United Airlines both operate in and out of Concourse B. American Airlines operated in and out of Concourse B before relocating to Concourse C in March 2016.

Concourse C[edit]

Concourse C

Concourse C houses 9 gates, both upper (30-32) and lower (21a, 21b, 22-26). The lower level gates house regional turboprop jets, while the upper level gates house narrow-body aircraft. The current iteration of Concourse C opened in 2000 after a $20 million redevelopment and expansion project. The project, which broke ground in 1998 added 80,000 square feet to the concourse including a new baggage claim and two-story passenger facility. The existing 11,000 square foot concourse was remodeled into service and operations functions.[7] The new Concourse C was designed with a more contemporary architectural style, contrasting the appearance of the Concourse A and B complex, by employing a large use of metal cladding and large curtain window walls on its exterior building envelope. However, it does draw some inspiration from its neo-expressionist neighbor by architecturally expressing a modular, repetitive, and exposed structural grid through its façade and interior lobby areas.

Alaska Airlines and its sister carrier Horizon Air were the primary occupants operating in and out of Concourse C after Frontier Airlines ceased operations to Spokane in January 2015.[8] However, that changed once American Airlines relocated to Concourse C in March 2016. Alaska and American operate in and out of the upper level gates, while Horizon operates in and out of the lower level gates.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Passenger[edit]

Delta Connection Bombardier CRJ-700 taxis to the Concourse B Gate B6.
United Express Embraer E170 begins taxiing towards the active runway.
Delta Air Lines Boeing 757 seen at Concourse B Gate B8.
Airlines Destinations Concourse
Alaska Airlines Seattle/Tacoma
Seasonal: Anchorage
C
Alaska Airlines
operated by Horizon Air
Boise, Portland (OR), Seattle/Tacoma C
American Airlines Phoenix–Sky Harbor C
Delta Air Lines Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City
Seasonal: Seattle/Tacoma
B
Delta Connection Los Angeles, Seattle/Tacoma
Seasonal: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City
B
Southwest Airlines Boise, Denver, Las Vegas, Oakland, Phoenix–Sky Harbor
Seasonal: Chicago–Midway
A
United Airlines Denver B
United Express Denver
Seasonal: Chicago–O'Hare
B

Cargo[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Airpac Airlines Seattle–Boeing
Ameriflight Ephrata, Lewiston, Portland (OR), Seattle–Boeing, Tri-Cities (WA), Wenatchee, Yakima
FedEx Express Indianapolis, Memphis, Oakland
FedEx Feeder
operated by Empire Airlines
La Grande, Lewiston, Moses Lake, Pendleton, Portland (OR), Tri-Cities (WA), Wenatchee, Yakima
UPS Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth, Des Moines, Louisville, Portland (OR), Seattle–Boeing, Vancouver
Western Air Express Boise, Portland (OR)

Statistics[edit]

Top destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from GEG (Apr 2015 – Mar 2016)[9]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Seattle/Tacoma, Washington 532,000 Alaska, Delta
2 Denver, Colorado 181,000 Southwest, United
3 Portland, Oregon 163,000 Alaska
4 Salt Lake City, Utah 128,000 Delta
5 Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota 123,000 Delta
6 Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Arizona 111,000 American, Southwest, US Airways
7 Las Vegas, Nevada 84,000 Southwest
8 Oakland, California 82,000 Southwest
9 Boise, Idaho 56,000 Alaska, Southwest
10 Los Angeles, California 25,000 Delta

Airline market share[edit]

Largest Airlines at GEG (Apr 2015 – Mar 2016)[10]
Rank Airline Passengers Share
1 Horizon Air 832,000 27.49%
2 Southwest Airlines 728,000 24.06%
3 Delta Air Lines 425,000 14.03%
4 Alaska Airlines 424,000 13.99%
5 SkyWest Airlines 255,000 8.42%

Annual traffic[edit]

Annual passenger traffic (enplaned + deplaned) at GEG, 1990 through 2015[11][12]
Year Passengers Year Passengers Year Passengers Year Passengers
2010 3,181,616 2000 3,068,890 1990 1,619,880
2009 3,055,081 1999 3,041,626
2008 3,422,110 1998 2,949,833
2007 3,471,901 1997 3,043,238
2006 3,224,423 1996 3,258,762
2015 3,133,342 2005 3,197,440 1995 2,988,575
2014 2,986,652 2004 3,059,667 1994 2,687,482
2013 2,926,858 2003 2,789,499 1993 2,329,953
2012 3,005,664 2002 2,745,788 1992 1,855,954
2011 3,072,572 2001 2,880,186 1991 1,589,123

Ground transportation[edit]

Spokane Transit operates two stops at Spokane International Airport, with bus route 60 connecting the airport to Downtown Spokane. Transfer opportunities are available in downtown to the rest of the STA system. The airport is also served by the WSDOT's Gold Line, which provides twice-daily bus service to cities north of Spokane, including Deer Park, Chewelah, Colville, and Kettle Falls.

A consolidated rental car facility is located adjacent to the ground transportation center on the north end of the main terminal. The consolidated facility opened in November 2008, replacing several satellite operations, and is intended to meet passenger growth at the airport for 20 years after its opening.[13]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On January 21, 1981 a Beechcraft Model 99A, Cascade Airways flight 201, crashed into a hill 4.5 miles from the runway. The accident was caused by an incorrect distance measuring equipment frequency, and premature descent to minimum descent altitude. Of the nine people on board, seven were killed (including both pilots), and the other two passengers were seriously injured. The airline ceased operations about five years later.[14][15]
  • On March 18, 1994, Douglas DC-3C N3433Y of Salair crashed shortly after take-off on a cargo flight to Portland International Airport. The starboard engine failed shortly after take-off. The engine that failed had previously been in long-term storage and had been overhauled the previous year and fitted to the aircraft on February 21, replacing an engine that developed a misfire and loss of power. It had accumulated 15 hrs flight time at the time of the accident. The aircraft was destroyed in the subsequent fire and both crew were killed.[16][17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

External links[edit]