Portland, OR – OEP:KPDX

8-15-2015 KPDX
PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
(3,000 acres) Portland, OR

Four Nearby Instrument Airports:
[KVUO] 3 NW ; [KTTD] 9 E ; [KHIO] 15 W ;
[KSPB] 16 NW ;
(ave. distance: 11 nm)
Total Based Aircraft:78
(17 single-props, 26 multi-props)
(11 jets, 3 helicopters, 21 military aircraft)
Operations & ATC:
(est. 592 ops/day (89% commercial)
24hr FAA towerFAA staffing as of 9/20/14:33
FAA’s ATADS data shows Peak Year was 1997. Total airport operations in 2014 were DOWN 34% from the peak year.
Click on this button for links to background info: [KPDX]-REFERENCE
Additional buttons:NextGen-Noisesearch (aiR)OEP-35
AIRNAV Form 5010 WIKIMETAR NOAA (weather)
FlightAware.comFlightStats.comFlightRadar24.com

PDX ATADS data, 1991-2014:

Year Commercial Ops % Commercial TOTAL OPS Change from Peak Year
1991 191,940 73% 264,300 -20%
1992 196,487 73% 270,423 -18%
1993 209,773 75% 280,829 -15%
1994 221,535 78% 283,924 -14%
1995 242,062 80% 302,003 -8%
1996 249,849 81% 309,624 -6%
1997 255,914 78% 329,790 PEAK YEAR
1998 251,533 77% 326,259 -1%
1999 275,426 85% 322,447 -2%
2000 271,272 85% 317,477 -4%
2001 250,565 85% 293,902 -11%
2002 231,042 83% 278,406 -16%
2003 225,162 85% 266,188 -19%
2004 223,080 85% 263,495 -20%
2005 225,343 86% 262,353 -20%
2006 227,139 87% 260,386 -21%
2007 233,188 88% 264,518 -20%
2008 223,548 88% 253,138 -23%
2009 201,689 89% 226,726 -31%
2010 198,652 89% 223,068 -32%
2011 190,108 87% 219,197 -34%
2012 189,209 88% 216,195 -34%
2013 188,481 90% 209,909 -36%
2014 192,190 89% 216,253 -34%

Aeronautical chart from VFRmap.com. (Click to open in a new window).

Scrollable aerial view at bing.com. (Click to open in a new window).


Airport Narrative (Overview & History)

Portland to sponsor development of a new ‘super airport’. The plan was to use a $1.3M Works Progress Administration grant, as a federally supported jobs/infrastructure program. Development proceeded and the Portland-Columbia Airport opened in October of 1940. In 1948, the entire facility was made unusable for months, after the Vanport Flood. In the decades since, there have been no further flood problems and the airport has expanded considerably to become the dominant West Coast commercial airport between Seattle and the Bay Area. Extensive airline schedules are provided by Alaska, Southwest, and United. The other major airlines (Delta, American and US Airways) offer limited non-stop connections to their main hubs.

As happened at many airports, general aviation was squeezed out — uprooted and forced to move to hangars at nearby ‘reliever’ airports. The displacement of GA aircraft at KPDX meant increased hangar development, runway lengthening, and amplified airport impact at Troutdale, Hillsboro, Mulino, Aurora and a few other Portland-area airports. Ironically, the most developed of these ‘relievers’, Aurora, now has huge hangars and many business jets that make short hops low over the east side of Portland, between their ‘garage’ (the hangar at Aurora) and the pick-up point for their passengers (at KPDX). In the interest of maximizing system efficiency and safety, while minimizing environmental impact, it would make far more sense if the higher performance business jets were encouraged to hangar at KPDX. Even more so considering that KPDX is operating well below its peak year of 1997. But, this cannot be done, since the Port of Portland has removed nearly all hangars from KPDX.

FAA operates two separate ATC facilities at KPDX, a control tower (PDX), and a TRACON (P80), with both open 24/7. Airport operations peaked in 1997 at 330K operation per year; they have since declined by 34%, to 216K ops/year. For the year 2014, there were 592 operations per day (thus, an average of twelve takeoffs per ATC-hr).