By Geoff Pursinger
Associate Editor, Hillsboro Tribune
Pamplin Media Group
Later this month, officials with the Hillsboro Airport will begin asking themselves big questions.
Where do we go from here?
Next week, the Port of Portland will kick off a two-year-long project to update the Hillsboro Airport Master Plan, a document which lays out how the airport will fit within the regional aviation system, how it will grow over the next 20 years and how it will meet demand.
The first meeting to discuss the Hillsboro Airport Master Plan will be held Monday, Feb. 27, at the Hillsboro Civic Center, 150 E. Main St. The public is allowed to give comments starting at 7:55 p.m.
Over the next two years, a committee will inventory existing airport facilities and operations, and determine how the airport will need to grow in order to meet demand over the next two decades.
The 15-member committee, which includes community members, representatives from the city of Hillsboro, the Federal Aviation Administration, Washington County and the Port of Portland. The committee will provide input to the Port of Portland, which owns and operates the airport.
“Hillsboro Airport has provided an important community resource for almost 90 years,” said Steve Nagy, Port manager of the airport. “We look forward to this process informing us on future aviation needs, and how we can work with the community in new ways.”
The Port’s last Master Plan covered 2005 to 2015.
The Hillsboro Airport is home to more than 25 business, including corporate airlines, air ambulances, television news helicopters, flight schools, aircraft repair crews and a U.S. Customs and Border Protection office, It is often used by celebrities and politicians flying into and out of the Portland area.
The airport recorded 198,000 flights last year, making it the second-busiest airport in the state, behind Portland International Airport.
Port officials said they also will be looking at “options for ongoing public engagement.”
This month, state Sen. Chuck Riley drafted a bill that would require the airport be run by an elected board, rather than answer to the Port of Portland.
For more information, email Port of Portland Community Affairs Tour and Outreach Manager Jayson Shanafelt at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503-415-6853.