5/4/17 Hillsboro Airport Master Planning Committee Meeting

April 30, 2017

The second Hillsboro Airport (HIO) Master Planning Committee meeting is scheduled for:

Date: Thursday, May 4, 2017
Time: 5:30 - 8:30 PM
Location: Hillsboro Civic Center
Address: 150 E. Main St., Hillsboro 97123

Draft minutes and other informational materials from the first meeting, held on February 27, 2017, are available at the Port of Portland (Port) website at: Hillsboro Airport Master Plan.

The HIO Master Planning Committee was formed to explore the future role of the airport. The potential for drone training at this facility will also be under consideration.


HIO - Primarily a Flight Training Airport

The Port of Portland has owned and operated the Hillsboro Airport for over 50 years. The majority of flights at this facility are primarily on behalf of the flight training industry, especially Hillsboro Aero Academy (formerly Hillsboro Aviation), an international flight training school that contracts with China's state owned airlines and other foreign interests to provide pilot instruction to overseas pilots. Per the company's website: "Since 1980, thousands of professional pilots from over 75 countries have graduated from our flight training courses."

The noise and toxic pollution caused by flight training activity in combination with the other tenants and users of the airport has a direct impact on the health, well-being, and livability of area residents, who have historically been denied a democratic voice in the decision making process.

PCC - Flight Training, Noise and Toxic Pollution

Portland Community College (PCC) Aviation Science students are also major contributors to the negative impacts posed by this airport. PCC helicopter and airplane student pilots contract with Hillsboro Aero Academy for the flight training portion of their education.

A 6/4/13 Portland Tribune article on the Troutdale Airport, which is also owned and operated by the Port, sheds additional light on the significant role PCC plays in increasing aviation noise and pollution throughout the greater Portland Metropolitan area. To access the article, see Troutdale flight school is international cockpit for pilots.

As stated in the Tribune, "Hillsboro Aviation's Troutdale facility was opened on behalf of a request by Portland Community College to help grow their aviation flight program..."

HIO and Lead Toxicity

As a result of the symbiotic relationship between the Port of Portland, PCC and the aviation industry, Hillsboro Airport is now releasing a ton or more of lead into the air each year. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), HIO is the largest facility source of airborne lead emissions in Oregon. In addition it ranks 21st nationwide among nearly 20,000 airports in toxic lead emissions.

The Scientific American articles below correlate repeated and chronic exposure to lead, even at levels previously considered to be safe, with the following conditions:

  • impaired cognition
  • attention deficit disorder
  • lower academic test scores for children
  • diminished IQs
  • psychiatric disorders
  • hypertension
  • arrhythmia
  • dementia
  • increase in violent crime rates
  • kidney damage
  • damage to central nervous system
  • red blood cell damage
  • decreased immune system functioning
  • likely carcinogen

A 2/17/13 Scientific American article by Mark Fischetti, Lead Exposure on the Rise Despite Decline in Poisoning Cases, reports that lead exposure continues to be a serious problem and further notes "that many of the health complications from lead arise even at low exposures." For the complete article see Lead Exposure on the Rise Despite Decline in Poisoning Cases .

A 9/13/12 Scientific American link poses the question: Does the Continued Use of Lead in Aviation Fuel Endanger the Public Health and the Environment? General aviation fuel is now responsible for more than 50% of the lead emitted into the air in the U.S. To access the article see http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=lead-in-aviation-fuel.

HIO - Pollution

HIO is also a significant source of numerous other toxins. Per EPA documentation HIO is the largest facility source of acrolein, 1,3 butadiene, ethyl benzene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, organic carbon particulate matter 2.5, elemental carbon particulate matter 2.5, and carbon monoxide in Washington County. It is the second largest source of nitrous oxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter 2.5 emissions and the third largest source of volatile organic compounds in this jurisdiction. All of the above pollutants are associated with potential negative health consequences - some are known carcinogens while others have a detrimental effect on the respiratory system and/or contribute to a number of serious medical conditions.

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