Open main menu

Spokane International Airport

  (Redirected from Geiger Field)

Spokane International Airport (IATA: GEG, ICAO: KGEG, FAA LID: GEG) is a commercial airport approximately 5 miles (8 km) west of downtown Spokane, Washington. It is the primary airport serving the Inland Northwest, which consists of 30 counties and includes areas such as Spokane and the Tri-Cities, both in Eastern Washington, and Coeur d'Alene in North Idaho. The airport's code, GEG, is derived from its airfield's namesake, Major Harold Geiger.

Spokane International Airport

Geiger Army Airfield
Aerial GEG August 2010.JPG
Spokane International Airport in 2010, viewed from the south
Airport typePublic
OwnerSpokane County & City of Spokane
OperatorSpokane Airport Board
ServesInland Northwest (primarily Spokane–Coeur d'Alene area)
LocationSpokane, Washington, USA
Hub for
Elevation AMSL2,385 ft / 727 m
Coordinates47°37′12″N 117°32′02″W / 47.62000°N 117.53389°W / 47.62000; -117.53389
GEG is located in Washington (state)
Location of airport in Washington / United States
GEG is located in the United States
GEG (the United States)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
3/21 11,002 3,353 Asphalt/Concrete
8/26 8,199 2,499 Asphalt
Aircraft operations (2018)68,256
Based aircraft (2017)58
Total Passengers Served (12 months ending December 2018)3,998,272
Cargo handled (12 months ending December 2018)141,614,009 lbs.
Source: Federal Aviation Administration;[1] Spokane International Airport[2]

As of 2015, Spokane International Airport (GEG) ranks as the 70th-busiest airport in the United States in terms of passenger enplanements.[3] At 3,998,272 total passengers served in 2018, it is also the second busiest airport in Washington. GEG is served by six airlines with non-stop service to 15 airports in 13 markets.

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 small-hub primary commercial service facility.[4]



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.

In 1943, General Hap Arnold established the first formal fire protection training course at Geiger Field, Washington. It was used until 1946.

Geiger Field was served by a rail connection to the Great Northern Railway.[5]

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.[6] The airport code is still GEG, for Geiger Field.

Modern eraEdit

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.[7]

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

Growth and expansionEdit

A second level was added to Concourse A and Concourse B in 1974.[8]

The airport has a Master Plan,[9] 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.[10] 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]


Runways and terminals at Spokane International Airport.


The airport covers 6,140 acres (2,480 ha) and operates two paved runways:[1]

  • Runway 3/21: 11,002 ft × 150 ft (3,353 m × 46 m), Asphalt/Concrete
  • Runway 8/26: 8,199 ft × 150 ft (2,499 m × 46 m), Asphalt


It is believed that the tower is the only federal air traffic control tower named for any single person, after that honor was bestowed in 2010 on Ray Daves, the World War II radioman who survived Pearl Harbor and Midway and went on to serve as an air traffic controller in Spokane after the war until the 1970s.[11][12]


Terminals at Spokane International Airport

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

Concourse A-BEdit

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

The 1965 Concourse A-B complex includes the two concourses linked by a central rotunda area with dining and shopping vendors. The 37,000 sq ft (3,400 m2) rotunda is supported entirely along its perimeter and features no obstructions.[13] Concourse A houses 5 gates (11-15), while Concourse B houses 8 gates (1–8).

The Concourse A-B complex originally opened on April 1, 1965 and was designed by Warren C. Heylman and William Trogdon.[14] The new terminal cost a reported US$4,600,000 (equivalent to $36,570,000 in 2018) and was dedicated on May 8, 1965,[15] in a ceremony attended by Senator Warren Magnuson and Civil Aeronautics Board chair Alan Boyd.[13] 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, some of the original architectural intent of the Concourse A-B complex has been lost. While several expansions to the concourse extended the building's original architectural style, other additions have altered it. 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 same curvy and sculpted neo-expressionistic forms. The later additions of the ground transportation facility and Concourse C to the ends of the concourse building further altered the architecture by replacing its distinct bookend elevations and entrances with corridors to the adjacent buildings. Interior renovations in the mid-2000s also replaced many of Concourse A-B complex's original sculpted forms and monolithic materials with more rectilinear forms and contemporary finish materials. Despite this, many of the original architectural elements remain integral to the space (such as the exposed concrete roof trusses and concrete columns), creating a juxtaposition between the newer elements and the original architecture.

Under the proposed Terminal Renovation and Expansion (TREX) program to accommodate projected growth, the separate baggage claim areas in Concourse A-B and Concourse C would be consolidated into a single baggage claim with five carousels, and A-B would receive a renovation. Ultimately, operations at A-B would wind down under long-term plans to construct a new terminal in 2030, at the earliest.[16]

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 CEdit

Concourse C

Concourse C houses 9 gates, both upper (30-32) and lower (21a, 21b, 22-26). The lower level gates house regional turboprop aircraft, 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, designed by Bernardo-Wills Architects.[17] The project, which broke ground in 1998 added 80,000 square feet (7,400 m2) to the concourse including a new baggage claim and two-story passenger facility. The 11,000-square-foot (1,000 m2) concourse was remodeled into service and operations functions.[18] The new Concourse C has 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 draws 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.[19] 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 destinationsEdit

Spokane International Airport is served by 6 carriers. These carriers serve 13 markets through non-stop service to 15 airports.


Delta Connection Bombardier CRJ-700 taxis to Concourse B Gate B6.
United Express Embraer 170 begins taxiing for departure.
Delta Air Lines Boeing 757 seen at Concourse B Gate B8.
Alaska Airlines Boise, Everett, Los Angeles (begins January 7, 2020),[20] Portland (OR), San Diego, San Francisco (begins March 19, 2020),[21] Seattle/Tacoma
American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth, Phoenix–Sky Harbor
Delta Air Lines Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City, Seattle/Tacoma
Delta Connection Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Seattle/Tacoma
Frontier Airlines Las Vegas
Seasonal: Denver
Southwest Airlines Boise, Denver, Las Vegas, Oakland, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Sacramento, San Jose (CA)
Seasonal: San Diego, Chicago-Midway
United Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, San Francisco
United Express Denver, San Francisco
Seasonal: Houston–Intercontinental (begins June 4 2020)[22][23]


AirPac Airlines[24] Seattle–Boeing
Ameriflight Ephrata, Lewiston, Portland (OR), Seattle–Boeing, Tri-Cities (WA), Wenatchee, Yakima
FedEx Express La Grande, Lewiston, Memphis, Moses Lake, Pendleton, Tri-Cities (WA), Wenatchee, Yakima
UPS Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth, Des Moines, Louisville, Ontario, Portland (OR), Seattle–Boeing, Vancouver
Western Air Express Boise, Portland (OR)


Top destinationsEdit

Busiest domestic routes from GEG
(February 2018 - January 2019)
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Seattle/Tacoma, Washington 572,430 Alaska, Delta
2 Denver, Colorado 223,030 Southwest, United
3 Portland, Oregon 159,240 Alaska
4 Salt Lake City, Utah 140,520 Delta
5 Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Arizona 133,260 American, Southwest
6 Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota 114,400 Delta
7 Las Vegas, Nevada 92,720 Southwest
8 Boise, Idaho 91,240 Alaska, Southwest
9 Oakland, California 80,160 Southwest
10 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 50,090 American

Airline market shareEdit

Largest Airlines at GEG (Apr 2018 - Mar 2019)[26]
Rank Airline Passengers Share
1 Southwest Airlines 924,000 24.44%
2 Horizon Air 890,000 23.59%
3 Delta Air Lines 500,000 13.23%
4 Alaska Airlines 368,000 9.75%
5 United Airlines 301,000 7.97%

Annual trafficEdit

Annual passenger traffic (enplaned + deplaned) at GEG, 1990 through 2018[27][28]
Year Passengers Year Passengers Year Passengers
1990 1,619,880 2000 3,068,890 2010 3,181,616
1991 1,589,123 2001 2,880,186 2011 3,072,572
1992 1,855,954 2002 2,745,788 2012 3,005,664
1993 2,329,953 2003 2,789,499 2013 2,926,858
1994 2,687,482 2004 3,059,667 2014 2,986,652
1995 2,988,575 2005 3,197,440 2015 3,133,342
1996 3,258,762 2006 3,224,423 2016 3,234,095
1997 3,043,238 2007 3,471,901 2017 3,550,912
1998 2,949,833 2008 3,422,110 2018 3,998,272
1999 3,041,626 2009 3,055,081

Ground transportationEdit

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 Travel Washington 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.[29]

Accidents and incidentsEdit

  • 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.[30][31]
  • 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 members were killed.[32][33]

See alsoEdit


  This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  1. ^ a b FAA Airport Master Record for GEG (Form 5010 PDF), effective May 25, 2017.
  2. ^ "Spokane Intl Airport – Home" (PDF).
  3. ^ "Calendar Year 2015 Passenger Boardings at Commercial Service Airports" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  4. ^ "List of NPIAS Airports" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  5. ^ Staff, "Align Rail Route To Air Depot", The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Washington, Wednesday 13 May 1942, Volume 59. Number 364, page 6.
  6. ^ "Spokane Intl Airport – Home".
  7. ^ "Historic Preservation: Mid-Century Modern Architecture".
  8. ^ "Terminal Roof Bid Accepted". The Spokesman-Review. Spokane. August 25, 1977. p. 7. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  9. ^ "Spokane Intl Airport – Home".
  10. ^ "Spokane Intl Airport – Home".
  11. ^ Front Porch: Fond memories of Ray Daves endure by Cindy Hval in The Spokesman-Review, June 16, 2011
  12. ^ Radioman: An Eyewitness Account of Pearl Harbor and World War II in the Pacific, a memoir by Ray Daves, as told to Carol Edgemon Hipperson (excerpt)
  13. ^ a b "New Airport Dedication Will Feature Alan Boyd". Cheney Free Press. April 9, 1965. Retrieved August 19, 2017.
  14. ^ Deshais, Nicholas (July 10, 2016). "Warren Heylman's architectural vision 'all over' Spokane". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved August 19, 2017.
  15. ^ "New Terminal for Airport Opens Today". The Spokesman-Review. April 1, 1965. Retrieved August 19, 2017.
  16. ^ Prager, Mike (July 19, 2017). "Spokane Airport eyeing major improvements". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved August 19, 2017.
  17. ^ "Concourse C Addition & Remodel, Spokane International Airport". Bernardo-Wills Architects. Retrieved August 19, 2017.
  18. ^ Cain, Chad (April 9, 1998). "Airport projects set to take off". Spokane Journal of Business. Retrieved January 15, 2016.
  19. ^ "Frontier Airlines ending service at Spokane International Airport". Spokesman Review. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  20. ^ Deshais, Nick (August 28, 2019). "Alaska Airlines to begin direct flights next year from Spokane to Los Angeles, San Francisco". The Spokesman Review. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  21. ^ Deshais, Nick (August 28, 2019). "Alaska Airlines to begin direct flights next year from Spokane to Los Angeles, San Francisco". The Spokesman Review. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ AirPac Airlines
  25. ^ "RITA - BTS - Transtats". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  26. ^ "Spokane, WA: Spokane International (GEG)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  27. ^ "Spokane Intl Airport – Passenger Data".
  28. ^ Historic Passenger & Cargo Data. Retrieved on Mar 28, 2015.
  29. ^ Prager, Mike (November 12, 2008). "Car rental a short walk away". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  30. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 1, 2010. Retrieved July 12, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  31. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 8, 2011. Retrieved July 12, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  32. ^ "N3433Y Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved June 25, 2010.
  33. ^ "SEA94FA085". National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved June 28, 2010.

External linksEdit