Airport History

Since its creation in 1944, the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport has been instrumental in the growth and prosperity of the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley.



October 9, 2023, LWS reinstate service to Seattle with Delta Air Lines.



On November 16, 2022, Hangar 180 hosted the Idaho Legislative Tour at the Lewiston Airport. Airport Board, as well as American Cruise Lines, present to new legislatures.



Lewiston celebrates new service to Denver International and Beyond with United Airlines.


Two airlines were serving Lewiston in the spring of 1995 including Empire Airlines (which was based in Coeur d'Alene, ID at the time and is currently based in Hayden, ID) with this commuter air carrier operating Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner turboprops on nonstop flights from Boise (BOI) and Coeur d'Alene (COE), and Horizon Air operating code sharing service on behalf of Alaska Airlines with de Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8 and Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner turboprops with nonstop flights from Boise (BOI), Portland, OR (PDX), Pullman (PUW) and Seattle (SEA). A combined total of 27 flights every weekday operated by the two airlines into the airport at this time, all flown with propjet aircraft.


Two airlines serving Lewiston in early 1985 including Cascade Airways operating British Aircraft Corporation BAC One-Eleven jets and Beechcraft 1900C turboprops with nonstop service from Boise (BOI), Pasco, WA (PSC), Pullman, WA (PUW), Seattle (SEA), Spokane (GEG) Walla Walla, WA (ALW) and Yakima (YKM), and Horizon Air operating as an independent air carrier with nonstop Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner turboprop service from Boise (BOI) Pasco (PSC), Pullman (PUW), Seattle (SEA) and Spokane (GEG). A combined total of 20 flights every weekday operated by the two airlines into the airport at this time primarily flown with small commuter propjet aircraft. Only one Cascade Airways BAC One-Eleven jet flight a day into the airport with a direct one stop service from Seattle via an intermediate stop in Pasco.


Early jet service was flown by Hughes Airwest Douglas DC-9-10s and McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30s and by Cascade Airways BAC One-Elevens, supplemented with turboprop aircraft of both airlines. Hughes Airwest merged into Republic Airlines in October 1980, which cut back flights in Idaho and elsewhere in the western U.S. Republic's final flight to Lewiston was in September 1982, and the airline ended its southern Idaho and eastern Washington service the following April. Cascade, based in Spokane, served Lewiston from 1973, until it ceased operations in 1986.


The short-lived Gem State Airlines of Coeur d'Alene served Lewiston for eleven months, until November 1979. Mountain West Airlines of Boise served Lewiston for less than three months before folding in early March 1981. Big Sky Airlines of Billings briefly served Lewiston in 1979. All three commuter air carriers operated turboprop aircraft into the airport.


The municipal golf course adjacent to the west, Bryden Canyon, was built in the early 1970s and opened in March 1975.



On Sept. 2, 1974, the Lewiston Air Traffic Control Tower was commissioned.  Recorded 74,238 takeoffs and landings the first year of operation.


In the early 1970s, a regional airport for the Quad Cities (Lewiston–Clarkston, Moscow–Pullman) was explored, but the city council of Lewiston withdrew its support of the study in October 1974.


Lewiston was served by West Coast's Fairchild F-27s in the 1960s. West Coast merged with Bonanza Air Lines and Pacific Air Lines to form Air West in 1968; the San Francisco-based airline was acquired by Howard Hughes in April 1970, and was soon renamed Hughes Airwest.



Breakfast flight for passengers on the Zimmerly Airline before boarding their plane, seen on the right in the distance.

The P-51 fighters were Idaho National Guard.


Aug 5 1948 turned runway lights on 1st time


On August 5, 1948, runway landing lights turned on for the first time, making night travel possible to and from Lewiston. The project cost $26,000 (about $600,000 today).


Zimmerly Air Transport began scheduled service in 1944 at Lewiston, flying intrastate routes in Cessna Airmasters, and became Empire Airlines in 1946, and moved to Boeing 247 aircraft. Two years later it changed to Douglas DC-3 planes, and was acquired by Seattle's West Coast Airlines in 1952.



Lewiston Airport in the early days. There is no terminal. Only a large hangar can be seen. The intersection at the bottom (right center) of the photo is 5th and Burrell.


Dedicated in 1928, the airport became as a Chamber of Commerce project in 1931, and the original runway was paved in 1942. Jet service arrived in October 1969 after the completion of the 6,500-foot (1,980 m) runway 8/26. The air traffic control tower, southeast of the terminal, was commissioned in September 1974.

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