Community Denied Voice On Hillsboro Airport Issues
The extreme pro-aviation bias of the Port of Portland (Port) and its Hillsboro Airport Issues Roundtable (HAIR) has prompted three legal appeals, to date, and very possibly more to come.
HAIR members are essentially Port appointed advocates who volunteer their time to promote Hillsboro Airport growth and expansion. A majority of the individual members and/or the business interests they represent are likely to benefit either personally or financially from this arrangement. Noticeably absent are representatives from citizen participation organizations, homeowner's associations, and neighborhood groups.
The Port describes HAIR as "the community's public forum for discussion of news, information, and concerns related to Hillsboro Airport. The Roundtable advises the Port on numerous airport projects and plans." It is further described as "a way for the Port of Portland to interact with the public on issues related to the Hillsboro Airport." HAIR's purpose is to "advise Port staff on community livability issues, serve as a resource for community outreach efforts, and provide a forum for citizens to address concerns about airport operations." The meetings are run and the agenda is set by the Port.
HAIR is credited with formulating and promoting the Hillsboro Airport Zoning Ordinance passed unanimously by the Hillsboro City Council in January of 2010. Upon appeal, the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) reversed the ordinance for the following reasons:
- Unconstitutional takings of private property without just compensation.
- Unconstitutional delegation of governmental power to the non-elected, non-representative Port of Portland.
- Failure to comply with State Planning Goal 12 requiring a traffic impact study.
Determined to pursue the unconstitutional zoning, the City of Hillsboro and Port of Portland appealed to the Oregon Court of Appeals. In an 11/24/10 decision the appeals court ultimately upheld LUBA's finding.
The roster below includes a list of the members who served on the HAIR committee either during the Hillsboro Airport zoning ordinance hearings or at the time of its passage. Please note that the members of HAIR were chosen by the Port of Portland. At least nine of the members, including five of the six community-at-large members are pilots. An additional six are airport representatives.
HAIR Membership Roster
The membership list was provided by Port of Portland. The comments in bold and italics detailing aviation connections, meeting attendance, and footnotes were prepared by Jim Lubischer on 7-30-11.
Community At-Large Members
Jack Lettieri - Pilot. Former USAF navigator. Associated with Experimental Aircraft Association.
Ted Deur - Pilot. Mr. Deur's HAIR application noted that he lives at Olinger Airpark, a private residential facility located in Hillsboro, and that he is involved with the Olinger Airport Corporation. Mr. Deur further explained that he "was instrumental in working with the FAA, Oregon Aeronautics, and Washington County in defining the "Overlay Protection Zone" for all County airports. He identified Andy Duyck as his reference.
Fred Hostetler - Pilot. President-Hillsboro Flying Club. In his 2006 HAIR application, Mr. Hostetler stated that he had worked on the Hillsboro Airshow for 10 years. He further noted that his "business is adjacent to the airport..."
Dana McCullough - Pilot. Family owns Aero Air, an aircraft charter, sales, and maintenance business based at HIO. Ms. McCullough's son is the president of Aero Air. According to her 2006 HAIR application "The airport significantly impacts 1) my family, which has owned a business on the field since before World War II, 2) our family's 215 acres just northeast of the airport (of which I personally own 52 acres), 3) our use, safety and enjoyment as pilots (I am a pilot in a three-generation pilot family) 4) my community and 5) land use planning."
Mike Gallagher - Pilot. Former USAF pilot. Former Intel pilot.
Tom Little - In his 2006 HAIR application he wrote that he is "In general favorably disposed to aviation..."
Vacant since 2008.
Ed Dennis,former Hillsboro Councilor - Infrequently attended HAIR meetings.
Andy Duyck, Washington County Board Member - Pilot. "Not involved" though "read[s] all of the reports...I oppose any attempts to reduce or limit airport use."
Oregon Rep. Chuck Riley, Dist. 29 - Seldom in attendance.
Oregon Sen. Bruce Starr, Dist. 15 - Does not attend meetings. Rudi Resnick,, a former naval Commander serves as his alternate. Commander Resnick's deceased son worked at HIO until 2009 when he died tragically in a plane crash.
Metro Councilor Kathryn Harrington - Does not serve, has no plans to. Metro Planner, Tim O'Brien serves as Councilor Harrington's alternate.
Cathy Stanton - Westside Economic Alliance, Beaverton City Councilor since 1994.
Bert Zimmerly - Pilot. Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce, Global Aviation Employee.
Lisa DuPré - Washington County Fairplex (Marketing and Events Manager). Does not attend meetings.
Joe Fiala - Pilot. FAA Control Tower. Air Traffic Manager at HIO.
Brian Cole - Intel. Mr. Cole was unaware that he is characterized as an "airport representative." His understanding is that he is Intel's liaison.
Brian Lockhart - Global Aviation
Ken Dyar - Operating Manager for Hillsboro Airport Business Association (HABA).
Judy Willey - Oregon International Airshow, President.
Steve Nagy - Pilot. Port of Portland - General Aviation Manager.
The jurisdictional representatives on the committee frequently missed meetings. A review of the HAIR meeting summaries revealed that former Hillsboro city councilor Ed Dennis did not attend a single meeting for three years prior to being replaced by Mayor Willey in November of 2010. Senator Bruce Starr has not been in attendance since 2006. His alternate, Rudi Resnick, attends in his stead. Washington County Commissioner, Andy Duyck, has not been in attendance in more than two years. Former state representative, Chuck Riley, missed three years of meetings. Kathryn Harrington has not been in attendance since 2007. Her alternate, Tim O'Brien is frequently marked as absent. The last general meeting on record that he attended was in March 2009. He was, however, present for many of the land use subcommittee meetings.
HAIR - Land Use Subcommittee
Per City of Hillsboro documentation, "The Hillsboro Airport Issues Roundtable (HAIR) citizen advisory committee formed a land use sub-committee in January of 2007 specifically to develop the recommended Airport Use (AU) zone and the Airport Safety and Compatibility Overlay (ASCO) zone." Meeting summaries stated that "The product will be the HAIR subcommittee's: not the Port of Portland's."
Those who served on the committee (listed below) at the time of the passage of the unconstitutional ordinance  included two Port appointed citizen-at-large representatives both of whom were pilots with strong links to aviation, two Port of Portland employees, a Hillsboro Airport Business Association advocate, and an Intel manager as well as jurisdictional representatives from Metro, the City of Hillsboro, and Washington County.
Dana McCullough - Community-at-large
Ken Dyar - Business Representative
Fred Hostetler - Community-at-large
Janet Rash - Intel Community Affairs Manager
Port of Portland
Steve Nagy, Port of Portland General Aviation Manager
Jason Gately, Port of Portland - Project Manager
City of Hillsboro
Debbie Raber, City of Hillsboro Planner
Tim O'Brien, Planner
Joy Chang, Land Use and Transportation Planner
PDX Airport Futures and CNAC
This lack of meaningful and substantive community input on Hillsboro Airport (HIO) issues contrasts sharply with the approach to public involvement at Portland International Airport (PDX), where the Airport Futures program is described as "a collaborative effort between the City of Portland, Port of Portland, and the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan community to create an integrated, long-range development Plan for PDX." Of the 30 members serving on the PDX Planning Advisory Group (PAG), eight were appointed by neighborhood organizations. In addition there was a representative with a background in environmental justice issues. The concerns of the Audubon Society, the Lower Columbia River Estuary Program, and the Coalition for a Livable Future were also represented on the committee.
Sustainability was an overarching goal and integral part of Airport Futures. Sustainability for this process was defined as "meeting the region's air transportation needs without compromising the livability and quality of life of future generations." This focus required a balancing of economic, environmental, and social values (the "Triple Bottom Line") and is reflected in the overall package adopted by the Portland Planning Commission, Portland City Council, Vancouver City Council and Port of Portland Commission. This package includes: a PDX Master Plan; a City Land Use Plan for PDX; three intergovernmental agreements formalizing Airport Futures commitments, and the PAG Final Report. It is noteworthy that the PDX Airport Futures program resulted in City of Portland land use regulations stipulating that an additional runway would not be built at PDX without a public review process and subsequent approval by the City of Portland.
In 2010 Airport Futures garnered an award for their long term planning efforts "in a way that incorporates community values and integrates sustainability principles." According to Chris Corich from the Port of Portland, "Airport Futures' success was dependent on the engagement and input of the communities surrounding and using the airport. This is recognition of the entire region's commitment to planning for the future of PDX."
In addition PDX has a 15 member Citizen Noise Advisory Committee (CNAC). Eleven of the members are appointed by local jurisdictions. The remaining four are Port appointees.
By comparison, there is not now nor has there ever been either an Airport Futures committee or a citizen noise advisory committee in Hillsboro.
Public Information Requests
Meeting minutes and other documentation related to the PDX CNAC and Airport Futures are readily available via both the Port of Portland and the City of Portland websites. Sadly, the same cannot be said for HAIR and the Hillsboro Airport. Obtaining records for HAIR general and subcommittee meeting summaries requires an information request. Some are not available. For instance, a power point presentation by City of Hillsboro planning staff reported that 12 HAIR land use subcommittee meetings were held in 2007-2008 for the purpose of formulating the Hillsboro Airport zoning ordinance yet Port staff has been able to locate only six of the meeting summaries. An information request initiated six months earlier finally yielded the following response from Port staff in April of 2011, "I have provided you all the summaries I've been able to locate for subcommittee and full HAIR meetings; our IT and legal departments are looking into what it will take to search the digital archive for any meetings that I have not been able to locate."
In addition, the Port of Portland's monthly and annual aviation statistics reports provide detailed information, not only on passenger count but also on specific airlines, cargo, and mail companies using PDX, including operations logged and the number of pounds of cargo and mail shipped.
For HIO, on the other hand, only a single figure of total annual or monthly operations appears with no clarification as to how many are for flight training, air taxi, corporate jet, general aviation hobbyists, etc. Nor does the total HIO count identify how many operations are helicopter training flights, an important point as this category of operations does not even use the runway.
In their response to information requests on usage of the airport by specific companies, the Port maintains that they don't track that information while specific companies using the airport withhold information based on the claim that since they are a private business the data requested is "proprietary."
This current scenario creates a situation wherein those interested in developing a better understanding of what is going on at and around HIO are subjected by the Port of Portland to foot dragging, obfuscation, and either refusals or significant delays in obtaining records. Though the Port and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) expect the public to subsidize this facility, their actions demonstrate a lack of accountability and transparency regarding who this airport serves and at what cost.
Residents of this community, who routinely bear the brunt of the negative impacts from HIO in the form of frequent noise intrusions, environmental degradation, property devaluation, attempted land use violations, safety risks, and diminished livability deserve better.
 Hillsboro Airport Issues Roundtable. Port of Portland. http://www.portofportland.com/HIO_HAIR_Home.aspx
 Hillsboro Airport Issues Roundtable Application. (2/09/06).
 Ordinance No. 5935, ZC 7-09: AU Airport Use Zone and ASCO Safety and Compatibility Overlay Zone. City of Hillsboro, Oregon. (1/19/10).
 Michelle Barnes vs. City of Hillsboro LUBA No. 2010-011, Final Order. (June 30, 2010).
 Michelle Barnes vs. City of Hillsboro. Oregon Court of Appeals. No. A146145. (11/24/10). http://www.oregonaviationwatch.org/docs/A146145_Barnes_v_Hillsboro.htm
 Ed Dennis was replaced by Hillsboro Mayor Jerry Willey in November 2010. Willey, who voted in favor of the unconstitutional zoning ordinance, is married to HAIR (Airport Representative) member and Airshow President,Judy Willey.
 Email from Washington County Commission President Andy Duyck to Jim Lubischer. (1/10/11)
 According to Port of Portland staff, as of 3/11, Shawn Lindsay, the new District 29 representative, was offered a seat on HAIR in place of former Rep. Riley.
 Raber, Debbie, City of Hillsboro Planning Department Project Manager. Request to Hillsboro Planning and Zoning Hearings Board from the Hillsboro Planning Department. (10/28/09).
 Hillsboro Airport Issues Roundtable - Subcommittee. Meeting Summary. (12/14/07).
 Hillsboro Airport Land Use Planning. Hillsboro Airport Issues Roundtable Subcommittee. Roles and Responsibilities. Port of Portland. http://www.portofportland.com/Prj_HIO_Land_Use_Home.aspx
 Airport Futures: Charting a Course for PDX. City of Portland. Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. http://www.portlandonline.com/bps/index.cfm?c=3D44799, http://www.pdxairportfutures.com/PlningAdvsryTeam.aspx
 Meet the Team. Airport Futures: Charting a Course for PDX. City of Portland. Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. http://www.portlandonline.com/bps/index.cfm?c=3D44799
 PDX Earns National Environmental Award for Long-Range Planning. Port of Portland. http://www.portofportland.com/Notices/PDX_FTS_08_BLT.htm
 Sounds of the Community: Noise Management. Citizen Noise Advisory Committee. Port of Portland. http://www.portofportland.com/noise_mgmt_cnac_home.aspx
 Learn More. Airport Futures: Charting a Course for PDX. City of Portland. Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. "A key feature of the City Land Use Plan zoning code is a prohibition of a third parallel runway and a new decentralized passenger terminal. Prior to developing either, a legislative process would be required, including hearings at Portland Planning Commission and Portland City Council. A second key feature is the creation of an ongoing PDX Community Advisory Committee to provide the broader community an opportunity to inform airport planning and development decisions..." http://www.pdxairportfutures.com/LearnMore.aspx
 Raber, Debbie. City of Hillsboro Planning Commission/HAIR Joint Work Session. Airport Zoning Revisions. (March 9, 2011).
 Email Correspondence to Miki Barnes from Rachel Wray, Port of Portland Environmental Outreach Manager. (4/20/11).
 Portland International Airport. Monthly Aviation Traffic Report. (April, 2011) http://www.portofportland.com/SelfPost/A_2011720102349April2011webstats.xls