Thursday, August 30, 2012

New Plan Will Guide Airport Development

City will soon adopt a new airport development plan.

Posted By on Thu, Aug 30, 2012 at 10:51 PM

The last few years have been turbulent (get it, turbulent) for the Bend Airport even though activity has dramatically increased since 2000.

Cessna closed a large facility there in 2009 and it’s been difficult to attract new businesses, in part because of a shortage of space for midsize companies at the airport, said city officials at a joint meeting with the Deschutes County Commission today.

But now the city has a new plan to improve the airport and encourage economic development there for the next 20 years.

Look down below for some of the highlights of that plan, but here’s some key background first.

The airport is located east of Bend along Powell Butte Highway. It’s on county land, but is owned by the city. Private planes, jets, helicopters and a number of aircraft related businesses are located there. The entire airport is part of the La Pine enterprise zone, meaning that businesses may be eligible for tax deals if they locate inside the zone. 

Bottom line, the airport has the potential to be a bustling little economic hub and the city wants to jump start that action.

The new airport plan hasn’t been adopted, yet, but that will likely happen this winter, said city officials. After that, expect to see more discussion about how to the key airport projects listed here, according to city officials and the master plan document: 

  • Extend the runway to allow larger planes to land at the airport
  • Build an air traffic control tower
  • Build helipads and move all helicopter activity to the east side of the runway
  • Build more hangars, aircraft and vehicle parking, and business sites on the east side of the runway
  • Acquire property on either the north side of the airport or the south side for future expansion
  • Improve the look of the airport to enhance a sense of pride in the airport

 To read the master plan yourself go here.

Fun Bend Airport Facts:

  • Traffic from airplanes based at the Bend Airport increased about 40 percent between 2000 and 2010
  • Hangar square footage was increased by about 33 percent between 2000 and 2010
  • Helicopter flight training at the airport conducted by Leading Edge Aviation increased from 700 hours to 7,000 hours between 2006 and 2010.
  • Professional Air flight school increased flight training hours by 78 percent from 2009 to 2010.

Source: Bend Airport Master Plan

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