Pangborn Memorial Airport has been in operation since 1941. It is named for Clyde Pangborn, who along with co-pilot Hugh Herndon, completed the first nonstop flight across the Pacific Ocean in 1931. Their epic journey began in Misawa Japan, and ended 41 hours later in East Wenatchee, Washington. Northwest Airlines began the first commercial air service to and from Pangborn Airport in 1945. Commercial air service is now provided by Horizon Air, a regional carrier that is a subsidiary of Alaska Airlines.
The airport was originally operated under the ownership of the City of Wenatchee, which, in recognition of the regional importance and benefit of the airport, transferred ownership to the Port of Chelan County in 1965. In furtherance of the regional vision for the airport, the Port of Chelan County gave the neighboring Port of Douglas County half interest in the airport in 1974. Working together, the Ports completed a new terminal building in 1992, and with the major support and assistance of Senator Patty Murray, obtained federal funds for the installation of an instrument landing system which became operational in 2006.