Portland Airport, 1940

Portland’s first main airport was the Swan Island Airport. The Portland-Columbia Airport, located along the Columbia River in its present location, opened in 1940. The original terminal was along the north edge as you see here, just off N. Marine Drive. The new terminal opened in 1958 in its present location east of the NE/SW runway and it then became Portland International Airport. The original terminal building is now the airport fire station building.

(City of Portland Archives)

5 thoughts on “Portland Airport, 1940

  1. There’s a glimpse of Mount St Helens on the left as we once knew her, in all her ice-cream-cone splendor…

  2. I’ve been trying to research Oregon airports for quite some time now and I am delighted to see this photo. Could I ask where you find this in the city archives and whether you know if they hard any other good material on PDX.

    I’ve been trying to settle whether the original 1940s passenger terminal building is still standing there, but can’t seem to settle it. I have reason to believe that that the building not the former terminal. There are indeed mid-century buildings standing in that area currently at PDX, but they appear newer than the 1940s and the building in the photo appears to be in a different orientation as compared to the current aerial photograph (google map link, switch to satellite or aerial view).


  3. You are right, the building you see in the picture is no longer there.

    The photo looks to date back to Early 40’s, you can still see the original construction of the Ramp on the north side. Taxiway H is the Taxiway that runs North south and is in alignment with the original entry way. Half of this entryway was demolished with the expansion of the north runway. The two buildings still standing from the late 40’s are the small square building wich used to be the old fire house, and the building to the east wich now holds the weather bureau. The original United hangar is long since demoed. You can still see some old tile floor out in that area from the buildings.

    Hope this helps


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