Port of Portland PAC Votes to Shrink Troutdale Airport

Another aviation resource is threatened after committee moves to shorten the airport’s runway and drive off aviation-related businesses.

Troutdale Airport
The Troutdale Airport in Portland, Oregon, may be shrunk in size, preventing many business jets and firefighting tankers from landing there.Wikimedia Commons/Finetooth

The Project Advisory Committee (PAC) for the Port of Portland has voted for a master plan that aims to significantly shrink the Portland-Troutdale Airport (KTTD), located 10 miles east of the city of Portland, Oregon. The plan calls for the 5,400-foot by 150-foot runway to be cut down to 4,500 by 75 feet in 2020. This size would prevent many business jets and firefighting tankers that have used the airport to fight fires from landing at Troutdale.

A supporter of the airport who started a Facebook page called Save Troutdale Airport claims the move is the first nail in the coffin for the airport, which was built in 1939. Not only is the runway being shortened, the supporter says; a large parcel of land on the north side of the airport will be turned into non-aviation use, forcing local aviation businesses to close or move their operations to the south side at their own expense without any long-term commitments for the land.

The airport supporter says the Troutdale Airport’s only hope is to be transferred out of the hands of the Port of Portland. This happened with another Portland-area airport, Mulino State Airport, which was on the brink of failure when the Port of Portland transferred the operations to the Oregon Department of Aviation in 2009. Since then, the number of airplanes based at the airport has jumped from 47 to 60.