PDX South Runway Reopens

by wrayr 10/5/2011 1:21 PM

Portland International Airport’s 11,000-foot south runway is now open, following the complete reconstruction of the runway over the summer of 2011. Hawaiian Airlines was the first air carrier to depart off the new runway, fitting since they were the last departure off the south runway before it was closed last spring for construction.  


At a ceremony celebrating the runway’s reopening, Port executive director Bill Wyatt thanked the many people who played a part in the project, taking time to honor the Federal Aviation Administration, whose air traffic control tower employees carefully managed the air traffic to minimize neighborhood impacts.


Both Wyatt and Port aviation director Steve Schreiber reserved the bulk of their comments for thanking community members who live near and around the airport on both the Oregon and Washington sides of the river. Throughout the project, PDX neighbors have been patient with changing air traffic patterns, allowing the Port to complete the construction in a timely, resource-efficient way.


The project was the third and final phase of a three-year runway improvement program. The south runway phase involved completely removing the old asphalt runway and replacing it with a new, 19-inch deep concrete runway surface over a 4-inch deep asphalt base. In 2009, the Port rehabilitated the north runway, and in 2010, extended the north runway from the former 8,000 feet to 9,825 feet.  

A small group applauds as a Hawaiian Airlines jet, the first departure off the newly reopened south runway, takes off.

PDX's newest international flight, Asiana Cargo, taxis toward the end of the runway to prepare for take-off.

A FedEx cargo jet, a Boeing 777, heads to the west.

A sunnier view of the south runway, taken just a couple weeks before the October 5th reopening.

PDX South Runway Rehabilitation Project Enters Final Phase

by wrayr 8/25/2011 12:55 PM

Long and dry summer days mean construction work on Portland International Airport’s south runway continues apace. The reconstruction project is now in its final phase, bringing some temporary flight pattern changes through early October.


Increased flights over some airport neighborhoods are expected during this construction phase, similar to flight activities during the first phase of the construction this spring and early summer. Flight changes are occurring because many aircraft that would normally use the south runway will now temporarily use the north or crosswind runways. As we saw earlier this year, an increased use of the crosswind runway increases the number of flights over neighborhoods south of the airport. The north runway alone cannot accommodate all PDX flights during the south runway closure.


The work is the final stretch of a three-year runway rehabilitation program that will wrap up in October. The project is completely reconstructing the airport’s south runway, worn by years of aircraft use. In 2009, the Port rehabilitated the north runway, and in 2010, extended the north runway from the former 8,000 feet to 9,825 feet. The longer north runway is capable of accommodating the larger aircraft departures while the south runway is closed for reconstruction, keeping the airport fully operational.


Some photos of the south runway work in progress:



PDX South Runway Update

by wrayr 7/29/2011 6:01 PM

You may have noticed construction at Portland International Airport. The south runway is being completely reconstructed as part of the final stretch of a three-year runway rehabilitation program.


The project team has been hard at work since the construction season began last spring, and July 29, 2011, marks the partial reopening of the east half of the south runway and the closing of the crosswind (north-south) runway as construction continues. This will help reduce aircraft noise for neighbors who live north and south of the airport – these neighborhoods have experienced more flights due to increased use of the airport’s crosswind runway during the project.


In early September, the entire south runway will close once again to finish the reconstruction of the runway, and aircraft operations will resume on the crosswind runway. The entire project is scheduled to wrap up in early October with normal aircraft operations returning to PDX.


Want more info? Send your project questions and concerns to Art Spillman, 503.415.6133, or contact the Noise Hotline at 503.460.4100 or 800.938.6647.

Never Enough Bike News at PDX

by wrayr 6/30/2011 8:46 PM

A picture is worth a thousand words, but well-written headlines that tell a great story are exceptional, too. The Jaunted travel blog praises the PDX bike assembly station in “Talk About an Airport That Knows Its Demographic.” Meanwhile, Writeabike.com has a super summary and series of photographs in “Ride to Fly in PDX,” which covers our recent bike ride to Portland International Airport as part of Pedalpalooza. The ride was organized by the enthusiastic proprietors of PDX By Bike, who even dressed up and cycled in airline attendant attire.


Pedal Power at the Port of Portland

by wrayr 6/21/2011 4:35 PM

Great cycling-related news from Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines! Both carriers are getting into the Pedalpalooza spirit by waiving bike handling fees for passengers departing Portland International Airport. The fees will be waived through June 26, 2011. Going on a trip? Pack your bike and a big warm smile for Southwest’s and Alaska’s Portland staff.


In other cycling news, the Port will welcome PDX by Bike this Thursday, June 23, for a tour of cycling infrastructure at the airport. Don’t miss out! We’ll meet at Flying Pie Pizzeria at 11 a.m. for lunch and head north to the airport around noon. More details here.


Finally, visit the Port this weekend at the North Portland Sunday Parkways. We’ll be at McCoy Park with our bike bells on!

Ride Your Bike to the Airport!

by wrayr 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 wrayr 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 wrayr 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 wrayr 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 wrayr 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.