From the Fall 2017 Port Newsletter
The Port of Hood River and Fixed Base Operator (FBO) TacAreo co-hosted two public meetings recently at the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum (WAAAM) to address increases in activity at the Ken Jernstedt Airfield and share details on planned multi-phased airport improvement projects.
The first meeting, held on June 22, was a listening session that allowed community members to voice concerns about operations and development at the airport. A noise increase has been noticeable among neighbors as operations escalate, and the Port and airport have received numerous complaints. The meeting, publicized to airport neighbors, had over 80 attendants. Public comment centered primarily on noise increases, safety concerns related to low-flying aircraft, and Orchard Road pedestrian access.
On August 31, the Port held a follow-up public meeting to provide operational, regulatory, and development information as well as details on operational changes made in response to public concerns. A panel of experts from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Oregon Department of Aviation (ODA) and local pilots provided information to around 90 attendees on FAA regulations affecting air traffic patterns and implementation of a “Fly Friendly” program for pilots.
TacAero has made significant changes to their operations including the Fly Friendly program, which recommends pilots fly at certain elevations and keep throttles as low as possible. Additional suggestions were relayed at the meeting that the Port and TacAero will consider. Airport Advisory Committee President Dayle Harris suggested the Port have until March to formulate, present to the public, and seek approval on additional measures to improve neighborly operations at the airport and help reduce noise.
Anticipated airport development is expected to take place over the next five years and includes:
- Improvements to safety on the south ramp and taxiways
- Construction of a new south ramp hangar by TacAero
- Completion of an Environmental Assessment for the north airport improvements
- Design completion of the north airport improvements
- Beginning site work for north airport improvements
- Completion of north area site work
- Design and approval of new FBO building and maintenance hangar on airport’s north side
- Construction on new FBO and maintenance hangar
- Design north apron and taxiway paving and painting