Ride Your Bike to the Airport!

by Rachel Wray 6/7/2011 9:49 AM

As part of Pedalpalooza 2011, the Port is partnering with talented bike touring leaders from PDX by Bike for a ride to Portland International Airport. We’ll stick to lower-traffic streets and multi-use paths to show you different options for riding your bike to the airport. We’ll also cruise around some of the airport’s cyclist-friendly amenities, like the bike assembly station and covered parking. And best yet: we’ll start the ride by meeting for a no-host lunch at Flying Pie Pizzeria.

 

Join us Thursday, June 23, at Flying Pie Pizzeria, 7804 SE Stark St., Portland. Meet at 11:00 a.m. for lunch, ride north to the airport at noon. Contact the Port or PDX by Bike for more details, or visit the PDX by Bike Facebook page!

 

 

Weekend Visitors to PDX

by Rachel Wray 5/23/2011 12:54 PM

 

We occasionally see some unusual aircraft at Portland International Airport, but this group of aviators might be the most surprising yet. A swarm of bees was discovered this past weekend on a taxiway sign at PDX, and aircraft operations supervisor Kelly Dougan knew just who to call. 

 

The Port work force includes more than a few enthusiastic beekeepers, who have backyard hives and plenty of know-how when faced with a few thousand pollinators. Kelly was able to reach Tim Wessels, who retired from the Port last spring, for assistance. Tim estimated the swarm included 7,000-8,000 bees. He was able to gather the bees up and relocate them to Zenger Farm in southeast Portland.

 

Great response from the team, and excellent news that the bees have found a new home.

 

  

 

Is It Spring Yet? No? Then Let’s Talk Deicing

by Rachel Wray 4/26/2011 2:48 PM

Portland spring hasn’t really sprung yet, so it might seem premature to think ahead to next winter. However, the Portland International Airport deicing team is hard at work on a project that will go into an important test phase this fall.

The deicing system enhancement project is a multi-year effort to expand the system that captures and manages runoff from aircraft and runway deicing during wintry conditions. Major construction on the project ended this spring, so now the team is turning its attention to the operation of the new system components. One piece of this is commissioning a new anaerobic reactor that will treat runoff containing deicing fluid. How are we doing this? By feeding tiny microorganisms to help them grow and reproduce within the system so that when the treatment facility is turned on in the fall, the microorganisms are ready to eat – and accordingly break down – glycol, the active and biodegradable ingredient in deicing material.

Learn more about the project in a new videocast just added to the Port’s website!

Phase Three of PDX Runway Improvement Project Begins April 4

by Rachel Wray 4/1/2011 4:56 PM

From April to October this year, the Port is working to completely rebuild the airport’s south runway, worn by years of wear and tear from aircraft use. The runway will close April 4. Changes in flights over some nearby neighborhoods are expected during construction because many aircraft that would normally use the south runway will be using the north or crosswind runways.

We appreciate the patience of airport neighbors, and we’ll be sharing information and progress updates throughout the construction season. Interested in more information? Learn more about the project on the Port website, or contact Brooke Berglund to schedule a presentation.

This is the third and final phase of our runway rehabilitation program at PDX, and the results will last a long time. After a lifecycle cost analysis, we opted to reconstruct the south runway in concrete, which has a 40-year design life and needs less maintenance than asphalt.

Phase Two of Runway Rehabilitation Project Begins This Summer

by Rachel Wray 6/16/2010 8:10 AM

Just like roadways, runways wear out and need regular maintenance. Portland International Airport has three runways, so when any one runway is closed for maintenance, the other runways often carry more aircraft traffic until the repairs are complete. This creates changes in the air that are almost always noticed by people on the ground.

The two main runways at PDX are being rehabilitated as part of a three-year runway rehabilitation project. The North Runway Extension Project is the first part of this multiyear runway rehabilitation program. In spring and summer 2009, the north runway was closed for a complete surface rehabilitation, setting the stage for extensions on both ends of the runway that will be built this year. In 2011, a six-month rehabilitation of the south runway will complete this major airfield improvement program.

When the north runway was closed during 2009, more aircraft used the crosswind runway, increasing the number of flights over neighborhoods close to the airport. Throughout 2008 and 2009, the Port and its partners reached out to neighborhood and civic groups through a variety of methods in an effort to inform people living in the affected zip codes of the temporary flight changes and the project schedule. The outreach included neighborhood meetings, postcards, e-mail notification and neighborhood events such as Sunday Parkways and the Alberta Street Fair.

As the Port looks ahead to the next two summers of construction and continued reliance on the crosswind runway during closures of main runways, outreach efforts will continue.

We’ll use the same methods as last year and look for new ways to interact with citizens, like Movies in the Park, the Vancouver Six to Sunset concert series, and farmers’ markets. If you have ideas for ways that the Port could improve outreach to airport neighbors, please contact Brooke Berglund at 503.415.6532 or brooke.berglund@portofportland.com.

For more information, visit www.portofportland.com and click on Projects, Plans and Studies.

Idling Gets Us Nowhere

by Rachel Wray 6/10/2010 8:19 AM

The hustle and bustle at Portland International Airport includes a constant dance of vehicles: passenger cars, taxis, shuttle buses, and delivery trucks carrying cargo and supplies. For many of these vehicles, a running engine is usually not necessary, like those waiting in the cell phone parking lot or making deliveries to certain parts of the airport terminal.

Over the years, the Port has implemented numerous programs to help reduce emissions from idling engines, including the Quick Pay program at the PDX parking garages. What seems like a small thing—paying on foot—can add up to a meaningful reduction in greenhouse gas and other emissions.

This year, we wanted to reinforce the idea that idling engines are a waste of clean air, fuel and money. The Port’s air quality team worked with the marketing department and PDX maintenance to create simple, eye-catching signs to urge people to avoid idling. The signs have been placed around the airport in places like the cell phone parking lot and the taxi/shuttle waiting lot. The message is clear: “Protect clean air. Save fuel. Don’t idle.”

We know there are some areas around the airport where the no-idling recommendation will not always work, but for cars that are parked for more than 30 seconds, it makes financial and environmental sense. Spread the word, and do your part!