Two significant airport improvement projects were completed in 2020: the Federal Aviation Administration-funded North Apron Rehabilitation project and the Oregon Department of Transportation-funded Aviation Technology and Emergency Response Center infrastructure project.
By completing both projects at the Ken Jernstedt Airfield simultaneously, efficiencies and cost-savings were realized. Tapani, Inc. won both contracts, with Century West Engineering providing design and construction management engineering. “These were two very successful projects with great partnerships that resulted in terrific final products,” said Anne Medenbach, the Port’s development and property manager. With federal and state funding, the Port’s contribution to both projects combined was 9.7% of total project cost.
North Apron Ramp
The Port received a $2.4 million grant from the FAA in 2020 to bring the North Apron up to current standards. The project included removing existing pavement and 14 aircraft parking areas, installing new pavement, gate and reflectors. Tie-down chains are now in, and asphalt repairs have been completed by Granite Construction. The project also included wetland mitigation of a 1.2-acre onsite wetland. “Pokey” plants were installed to deter waterfowl. The Port completed an Environmental Assessment in 2019 that provided the correct permits for the work.
Connect VI project complete
Infrastructure for the Aviation Technology and Emergency Response Center at the Ken Jernstedt Airfield was partially funded with a $1.3 million grant from ODOT. The 2016 Connect Oregon VI award project included extending water, sewer, gas and power to future building sites that will support the local UAV industry as well as emergency response. Paving and a fuel pad was also installed for a future fuel farm. Please call Anne Medenbach at (541) 386-5116 if interested in learning more about the building space available at the airport.
Airport Advisory and Noise committee updates
Four new members joined the Airport Advisory Committee (AAC) this year. Beginning two-year terms are Margo Dameier, Adam Young, Tor Bieker and Brook Bielen. The AAC meets monthly to discuss airport matters and make recommendations to the Port Commission.
Additionally, three AAC members and three community members have been collaborating this year as a workgroup focused on airport noise and its impact on neighboring residents. The group’s goal has been to develop and recommend actions regarding additional noise reduction measures at the airport. Since 2017, the Port has actively worked with community members and airport users to address noise impacts while maintaining and supporting Hood River’s vibrant aviation community and industry. The workgroup provided its first recommendations to the AAC and will be working through input over the next months. Further Commission discussion on the issue took place during the Fall Planning work session, and final recommended actions will likely come before the Port Commission in early 2021.