Home Archives January 2008 Baker embraces airport potential

Baker embraces airport potential

| Print |  Email
Tuesday, January 01, 2008

BAKER CITY The positive effects of Oregon Senate Bill 680 were up for debate in Scappoose and Aurora, but in Baker City, arms are open to plans for an airport, which could mean economic growth for the rural town.

The bill allows for growth at these three rural airports, to spur the economy and set an example for other rural airports in the state. Though it comes with no money attached, the bill helps all government agencies with a hand in airport development better work together. “No one was focusing on aviation to help rural communities participate in the overall economy,” says Ted Millar, owner of South End Airpark in Aurora. “[The bill] applies existing laws to rural airports.”

The bill was introduced by Sen. Betsy Johnson of Scappoose, who was under fire last summer when it became clear that her husband’s business – next to the Scappoose airport – would benefit. Millar, whose airpark also profits from the bill, was criticized for urging development in Aurora. Opponents say Aurora is 10 miles from many of Oregon’s fastest-growing cities and 30 minutes from Portland – hardly a rural town. So the Baker City Airport, with its 400 acres of undeveloped land, is the new poster child for the bill.

The timing is perfect for Baker City, where the airport is revising its FAA-mandated master plan, which must be done every 10 years. As the city plans for upkeep and expansion at the airport under the master plan, it is also forming an economic plan to address four goals: a light industry center, a visitor portal, resident transportation and future scheduled airline service.

Jake Jacobs, an airport commissioner, says they hope to attract small aircraft manufacturers and aviation-related businesses, like those in central Oregon, and other statewide companies that want to keep the company jet next door for easy travel. “An industrial park turns the airport into a taxpayer for the city,” Jacobs says, noting the airport currently costs the city money to operate.

Many businesses – and people – looking to locate in Baker City ultimately go elsewhere because there is no scheduled flight service. While Jacobs says it’s almost impossible that Delta or United will ever serve the airport, there are alternatives with very light jets.

Everything is just in the planning stages, and Jacobs says it will be at least a couple of years before there is noticeable progress. Steve Brocato, city manager of Baker City, says there are concerns that the city could grow too fast. The airport neighbors ranches and farmland, so plans are being developed to ensure the community is on board, Brocato says.

AMBER NOBE


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Leader's bookshelf

Contributed Blogs
Friday, March 14, 2014
02.06.14 BooksBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Five books that will make you a better leader.


Read more...

Powerlist: Meeting perspectives

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BY BRANDON SAWYER

A conversation about the event-planning industry with sales directors from McMenamins and the Portland Art Museum. 


Read more...

The 2014 List: The Top 34 Medium Companies to Work, For in Oregon

March 2014
Thursday, February 27, 2014

100best14logoWebOur 100 Best Companies project turned 21 this year, so pop open the Champagne. Our latest survey gives us plenty to cheer.

 


Read more...

Q & A with Chuck Eggert

News
Thursday, March 06, 2014
03.06.14 thumb pacfoodsBY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

The founder of Pacific Foods talks about why his company has flown under the radar in Oregon, how saving a family-run chicken hatchery has helped his bottom line and why he thinks organic food is anything but elitist.


Read more...

Speeding up science

News
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
02.25.14 Thumbnail MedwasteBY JOE ROJAS-BURKE | OB BLOGGER

The medical research enterprise wastes tens of billions of dollars a year on irrelevant studies. It’s time to fix it.


Read more...

Eking out a living

News
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
04.08.14 thumb ourtable-coopfarmsBY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

It may be obvious, but most farmers don’t make a lot of money. According to preliminary data from the 2012 Agriculture Census, 52% of America’s 2.1 million principal farm-operators don’t call farming their primary occupation. Farm cooperatives may offer a solution.


Read more...

Banishing oil burners reaps benefits for schools

News
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
04.02.14 thumb co2schoolsBY APRIL STREETER | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Three years ago, PPS set out to begin to convert the 1930s-era boilers from diesel/bunker fuel to cleaner-burning natural gas. Oregon’s largest school district has realized impressive carbon dioxide emissions reductions, setting an example for public and private institutions.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS