Chances are, you have driven past the 140 acre Pearson Air Field thousands of times, but have you stopped to think about the history behind it? Pearson Air Field is the oldest operating air field in the United States with its roots dating back to 1905. It is located in the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, operates completely in that area, and is the only airport in Washington that is a satellite airport. It is mostly used for general aviation, which ranges from flying clubs, gliders, powered parachutes, flight training, or agricultural aviation. You’ll often see a variety of small planes coming in and out of the airport and it can easily be seen from Highway 14 and the Columbia River.
Pearson Field is named after the first local resident of the United States Army, First Lieutenant Alexander Pearson Jr. In 1911, the first airplane landed at Pearson Air Field and a year later, a homebuilt airplane that was built on site at the Air Field first departed from it. From 1923 to 1941, Pearson Air Field was home to the US Army Air Service and in 1924, the airport served as a layover point on the Army’s first flight around the world. In 1994, the City of Vancouver and the National Park Service partnered together to control the future of the Air Field and there are now 150T-hangars and tiedown facilities, with capacity for 175 aircraft. Today, the Pearson Air Field provides nearly 600 jobs to Clark County.
If you enjoy history as well as aircraft, Pearson Air Field is a great place to visit! Sign up for flying lessons or just walk around and learn about its unique aviation history and take in the sights.