WA-List » A Mile to Land (Longest Runways)

A Mile to Land (Longest Runways)

Published by Steve Campion. Category: Transportation

Are you flying a big airplane? Do you need plenty of runway? Most commercial jetliners need a mile or more to take off.  A 747 needs a mile and a half.  Novice pilots might want more.  Washington has 34 airport runways one mile or longer and four runways extending two miles.  Our WA-List below shows all those Washington civilian landing strips of one mile or more.

The longest (pictured here in a Google Earth image) began life as Moses Lake Army Air Base in 1942, the year after the attack on Pearl Harbor that pushed the United States into World War II.  The military wanted inland airstrips and the Columbia Basin of Grant County offered it plenty of land.  The wartime base near Moses Lake became a permanent installation in 1948, was renamed Larson Air Force Base in 1950, and the original 10,000-foot runway extended to 12,000 feet over the next decade with the arrival of the 62nd Troop Carrier Wing and a Boeing Flight Center. By the time US Air Force closed the base in 1966, a newly-created Port of Moses Lake opened to civilian service with one of the longest runways in America.  It is still the longest in the state of Washington. The ample space — “wiggle room” you might say — has made the facility ideal for pilot training for decades. It was even designated as a potential emergency landing site for the Space Shuttle fleet.

Several other Washington airports can handle long take-off and landing requirements. Of the state’s ten longest runways (10,000 feet or more), Moses Lake has two, Seattle has two, and Spokane has one. The remaining five aren’t even concrete. They are water. Puget Sound boasts several marine seaplane bases whose designated boundaries are known to pilots and boaters but are not always clearly visible to the eye.  Our list includes eight one-mile-or-more seaplane base runways (shown in italic type). The longest is in Poulsbo.

All lengths and widths are measured below in feet.

LONGEST CIVILIAN AIRPORT RUNWAYS IN WASHINGTON

Rank Code Airport City Runway Length Width
 1.  MWH  Grant County International  Moses Lake  14L/32R  13,503  200
 2.  83Q  Port of Poulsbo Marina Moorage SPB  Poulsbo  13/31  12,000  4,000
 3.  SEA  Seattle-Tacoma International  Seattle  16L/34R  11,901  150
 4.  GEG  Spokane International  Spokane  03/21  11,002  150
 5.  0W7  Floathaven SPB  Bellingham  12/30  10,000  4,000
 5.  W33  Friday Harbor SPB  Friday Harbor  03/21  10,000  2,000
 5.  S60  Kenmore Air Harbor SPB  Kenmore  16/34  10,000  1,000
 5.  W49  Rosario SPB  Rosario  16/34  10,000  1,000
 5.  BFI  Boeing Field / King County International  Seattle  13R/31L  10,000  200
5.  MWH  Grant County International  Moses Lake  04/22  10,000  100
11.  0W0  Seattle Seaplanes SPB  Seattle  18/36  9,500  300
12.  SEA  Seattle-Tacoma International  Seattle  16C/34C  9,426  150
13.  PAE  Snohomish County Paine Field  Everett  16R/34L  9,010  150
14.  SEA  Seattle-Tacoma International  Seattle  16R/34L  8,500  150
15.  GEG  Spokane International  Spokane  07/25  8,199  150
16.  PSC  Tri Cities  Pasco  03L/21R  7,711  150
17.  PSC  Tri Cities  Pasco  12/30  7,703  150
18.  YKM  Yakima Air Terminal  Yakima  09/27  7,604  150
19.  PUW  Pullman-Moscow Regional  Pullman  06/24  6,730  100
20.  BLI  Bellingham International  Bellingham  16/34  6,701  150
21.  ALW  Walla Walla Regional  Walla Walla  02/20  6,527  150
22.  CLM  William R Fairchild International  Port Angeles  08/26  6,347  150
23.  DEW  Deer Park Municipal  Deer Park  16/34  6,100  75
24.  W33  Friday Harbor SPB  Friday Harbor  12/30  6,000  1,000
25.  PWT  Bremerton National  Bremerton  02/20  6,000  150
26.  SFF  Felts Field  Spokane  04W/21W  6,000  100
27.  EAT  Pangborn Memorial  Wenatchee  12/30  5,700  150
28.  ELN  Bowers Field  Ellensburg  07/25  5,590  150
29.  W37  American Lake SPB  Lakewood  02/20  5,500  500
29.  OLM  Olympia Regional  Tumwater  17/35  5,500  150
29.  EPH  Ephrata Municipal  Ephrata  03/21  5,500  75
32.  BVS  Skagit Regional  Burlington  11/29  5,478  100
33.  RNT  Renton Municipal  Renton  16/34  5,382  200
34.  AWO  Arlington Municipal  Arlington  16/34  5,332  100

IMAGE: Google Earth image of Grant County Regional Airport, Moses Lake.

SOURCE: Data for this list was derived from data in Washington State Department of Transportation: Washington State Airport Guide, September, 2014.

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