Airport addition brings fire station, restaurant
McNary Airfield in 1967 included a new building that housed an attractive restaurant. The Flight Deck Restaurant & Lounge is at the location now. / Special to the Statesman Journal
Written by Virginia Green
Salem in 1967
By 1967, our McNary Airfield had a new building, housing an attractive restaurant.
The struggle to maintain a local airport was already 40 years old. On May 1, 1929, the city had issued a bond for property acquisition and construction, acquiring 91 acres; the airport was dedicated that year. A complete history of our airport can be found on the City of Salem website.
Important developments included airmail service in 1941, U.S. Air Force taking over in 1942 and United Airlines Freight Services starting in 1946. In July of 1949, a lease was signed giving the Navy the use of the hangar and other facilities on the east of the field. A $40,000 Airport Administration Building was dedicated on Aug. 7, 1950. Our first control tower was closed in 1953 because of budget cuts and dismantled in 1956 because of vandalism.
But conditions were improving by 1966 when the Salem Fire Department completed construction on the airport fire station and the restaurant was a pleasant place to dine while watching the flights.
When you visit
The current Airport Control Tower was built in 1973. United Airlines has operated out of the Airport Administration Building along with the U.S. Weather Service, a car rental service and a limousine service that provided bus rides to and from Portland Airport in 1977.
Unfortunately, Horizon Airlines discontinued service in April 1993.
Our airport still is operated by the city of Salem and offers on-demand air taxi service, cargo shipping, the restaurant, rental cars and shuttle services.
The restaurant at the airport is the Flight Deck Restaurant & Lounge.
It is used by a number of area businesses, their suppliers, and parent companies as an alternative to driving. The airport is frequented by numerous companies, located in the area surrounding the city, when they conduct business in Salem. State legislators also fly into the airport during the legislative session. The ODOT-Aeronautics Section’s primary office and the State’s fleet of aircraft are at the airport.
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