5 Things | Pangborn Memorial Airport

It takes a big team to run Pangborn Memorial Airport and its daily flights.

I’m Trent Moyers and as airport director of Pangborn Memorial Airport, I’m lucky enough to have a backstage pass to a dynamic show. In other words, there’s never a dull moment at the airport! The airport operates like a small city with a variety of agencies that work together to make your experience here as safe and efficient as possible.

With a multitude of private industry, local government and federal employees involved in making the airport function like a well-oiled machine, it can be a little confusing for our visitors to know who is responsible for what. With that thought in mind, here are five things you should know about Pangborn Memorial Airport.

1. Airport staff handles day-to-day operation of the airport. Our duties include things like grounds keeping and passenger terminal maintenance, aircraft refueling, daily inspections and airfield maintenance (including snow plowing the runway in winter and painting airfield markings in summer). We employ a Douglas County Sheriff’s deputy to ensure public safety, and with assistance from Douglas County Fire District 2, we provide aircraft rescue and firefighting services. In addition to marketing efforts and recruiting additional air service, we also handle the administration of the airport. That means we manage and lease properties for airport development, and oversee capital improvement projects (like the runway extension project currently underway).

2. Locally-based airline employees assist passengers with ticketing, boarding the aircraft, baggage handling and freight shipment. Providing good customer service and on-time departures are their primary objectives. They relay information from the airline’s dispatchers (none of whom are based here) about estimated arrival and departure times. Dispatchers determine if a flight will depart, and once airborne, the pilot-in-command of the aircraft decides whether or not a landing can be conducted safely. The airline is your best source of information regarding check-in times, delays, or schedule changes. You can check out flywenatchee.com or pangbornairport.com for more information.

3. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has authority over the security of the traveling public in the United States. At our airport, the TSA is responsible for screening passengers and baggage prior to their departure on a commercial airline. We are fortunate to have TSA agents who perform their important tasks in a friendly, courteous and professional manner.

4. The National Weather Service (NWS) plays an important role in ensuring pilots have timely and accurate weather data. The NWS maintains the weather reporting equipment on the airfield that provides critical information such as visibility, cloud height, and atmospheric pressure. Airline pilots are required to obtain such information (even on clear, sunny days), so keeping the weather observation system operational is a top priority.

5. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates and oversees all aspects of American civil aviation. The airport is obligated to ensure it is operated in a manner consistent with FAA regulations. At Pangborn, the FAA maintains the ground-based navigational aids that pilots rely on when approaching the runway during inclement weather. The FAA establishes approach and departure procedures that dictate where airplanes fly as they approach and depart the airport. They also provide the lion’s share of funding (from user fees) to pay for capital improvements. The Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) you may notice on your airline ticket is used at the airport to help pay for certain projects that benefit the traveling public.

There’s so much more, but there you have it… a glimpse behind the curtain at Pangborn Memorial Airport!