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Oregon's System of Public Use Airports
When we think of public use airports, it is usually the commercial service airports that immediately come to mind. This is because of their size and familiarity to the broad public. However, Oregon´s system of more than 100 public use airports includes only half a dozen commercial service airports. The remainder of our public use facilities vary in size from small private airports to regional and reliever general aviation airports. All public use airports fall into designated airport categories, for purposes of the Oregon Aviation Plan.
A variety of FUNCTIONS are effectively served by Oregon´s Airports:
  • Support for scheduled commercial passenger service.
  • Connections to other commercial service airports in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
  • Support for cargo service (includes express).
  • Support for corporate, business and general aviation connections in Oregon and beyond.
  • Support for business-related activities and economic development.
  • Service for local general aviation needs.
  • Access to remote areas.
  • Access to rural communities.
  • Support for medevac and other emergency flights.
  • Support for military operations.
  • Support for fire-fighting operations.
  • Support for air taxi and charter flights.
  • Support for recreational aviation needs.
  • Support for general aviation needs.
  • Support for agricultural operations.
  • Navigational and weather aids, including en route.
  • Emergency alternatives for en route aircraft in remote areas.
  • To support aviation training activities.
AT THE LOCAL LEVEL, cities, counties and ports are allowed by Oregon law to establish airports. These units of government are required to notify Oregon Department of Aviation of, and to allow the Department to participate in an advisory capacity, in all municipal airport or aviation system planning. (Municipal Airports online)
AT THE STATE LEVEL, Department of Aviation is responsible for the management, maintenance and operation of 28 small airports in Oregon´s overall 100+ public use airport system. (List of state-owned airports.) The Department has a broad advocacy role in encouraging, fostering and assisting in development of aviation, providing for protection of airports and promoting safety in aviation.
AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) carries the primary jurisdictional role of regulation and procedures related to safety, as well as providing funding for capital improvements. The FAA controls airspace through the air traffic control system. This system tracks and controls airplane operations to maintain safe operations. The federal government also regulates airplane manufacturers, airlines and pilots to ensure safe equipment and operations.
ALSO ON THE FEDERAL SCENE is the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which focuses on airport security assistance in the aftermath of September 11, 2001.
Oregon Department of Aviation works in close partnership with both the FAA and TSA.
Important Links:
Airport Safety & Operations