HIO - Primarily a Publicly Funded Pilot Training Mill on Behalf of Foreign Interests and Private Corporations

October 10, 2017

In 2017 the Port of Portland convened a committee to explore future growth and expansion at the Hillsboro Airport (HIO). Most members of the advisory group were either hand-picked by the Port of Portland or Washington County Commission Chair Andy Duyck. Commissioner Duyck is on record as supporting unlimited growth at this facility regardless of the negative noise, environmental and health impacts routinely born by the constituents he was elected to represent.

Hillsboro Aero Academy (HAA), formerly Hillsboro Aviation, is an international flight training school that primarily serves foreign interests. It has partnered with Portland Community College (PCC) which is an arm of the pilot training mill facilitated by the Port of Portland. According to HAA's website,

"Our flight school has 37 years of experience training professional pilots from over 75 countries. You'll join one of our thousands of graduates with careers working for helicopter operators like PHI and Columbia Helicopters or for international airlines like Delta, Air China, and EVA Air."

Air China is one of the state owned airlines run by the People's Republic of China. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Port of Portland, and Portland Community College have colluded in serving as a training mill to thousands of student pilots from China as well as Taiwan and other parts of Asia not to mention numerous other countries across the globe. The significant impact of the ongoing noise and pollution on the entire community as a result of this activity has never been addressed.

Eva Air is a Taiwanese airline privately owned by the Evergreen Group. For additional details see the Evergreen Group website. Of note, this company is currently in the process of constructing a flight training academy, but rather than building it in Taiwan, it is located at the Mather Airport in Sacramento, California (see EVA Flight Training Academy).

Please note that the commercial jet training now offered through HAA was established without any public discourse, feedback or participation whatsoever. Democratic process and open discussion were completely circumvented in the interest of promoting corporate agendas and foreign interests over the greater good.

It remains unclear as to why U.S. public transportation and educational dollars are being spent to subsidize air traffic controllers, air traffic control towers, runways and other airport infrastructure as well as classroom space on behalf of these for-profit companies discussed above.

PCC accesses property tax and state money for the purpose of providing public educational opportunities for Oregon residents. Yet instead it is directing funding earmarked for education into the polluting, noisy and disruptive pilot training mill via its Aviation Sciences pilot training program.

This situation discussed above leads one to question who the FAA, State of Oregon, Port of Portland and PCC actually work for. Given the decision of the foregoing agencies to dismiss and block community input while using limited public resources to enter into and promote business agreements on behalf of foreign governments and major U.S. corporations, the public funding lavished on them via commercial passenger fees, property taxes, Gain Share, enterprise zone developments, Connect Oregon and other funding sources should be returned to the communities from which it originated. The shadowy dealings of these government agencies and educational institutions represents a grievous betrayal of the public trust.

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