The 1999 Oregon Aviation Plan presented a compelling argument that Oregon airports had a large and growing backlog of pavement maintenance needs. Without any new revenue to address these needs, the plan estimated there would be $177.5 million in pavement preservation needs over the next 20 years. By contrast, if a revenue source was created to address pavement lifecycle maintenance, that need would be decreased by $69.5 million – a 40% savings. Since most pavement maintenance does not rank high on the FAA’s criteria for funding through the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) , the OAP recommended establishing a state funded program to address the statewide need.
Per the recommendation from the OAP, the 1999 Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 276 and House Bill 2199 to amend Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 836.072 and ORS 319.020. These amendments allowed increased aviation fuel taxes for aviation gasoline (“Av Gas”) and jet fuel sold within Oregon, thereby creating a funding source dedicated to preserving and maintaining airfield pavements on public-use airports. Per ORS 319.020, the tax rate for Av Gas is nine cents per gallon, and is one cent per gallon for jet fuel . This fuel sales tax has generated approximately $1 million annually for the Pavement Maintenance Program, and the fund is administered and coordinated through ODA.
In addition to the creation of a funding source, the legislative action gave ODA authority to expend funds for administrative, engineering and construction expenses relative to pavement maintenance and preservation (ORS 836.072). It also mandated that ODA prepare a list of recommended projects for each cycle of the PMP that includes the age and condition of the pavement, the airport’s role within the state’s aviation system, and local match funds . This list is then submitted to the State Aviation Board for their approval.