Hillsboro Airport (HIO) is an integral part of the region’s transportation system, providing general aviation facilities to businesses and residents of Washington County and beyond. As the second busiest airport in Oregon, HIO is home to local corporate flight operations, aircraft charter services for business travel, air ambulance services, TV news helicopters, flight schools, aircraft maintenance and repair operations, a corporate air shuttle service, and a U.S. Customs and Border Protection office for international flights. In all, more than 25 businesses operate on-airport.
The Master Plan is a document to help guide airport development for the next 20 years. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recommends updating airport master plans every seven to 10 years with a fresh 20-year look. The Hillsboro Airport Master Plan kicked off in February 2017 and the final plan was approved by the FAA in May 2020.
The Master Plan report includes an inventory of existing airport assets, analysis of strategies (to define the role of the airport), forecasting future needs, assessment of the need and location of new facilities, assessment of alternatives (with identification of the preferred alternative), and financial feasibility (timing, costs, and funding). Seismic resiliency, community access, noise and air quality, 50-year land supply analysis and focused site planning analyses were also included in the plan.
The public and the 18-member Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) considered many scenarios, plans and concepts to accommodate aviation and non-aviation uses. The preferred alternative identified for the Hillsboro Airport includes these characteristics:
The project team identified a variety of opportunities for the community to provide input on key elements of the Master Plan. A Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) was formed to provide formal input, and nine meetings were held over the course of plan development, each with a different focus. In addition to PAC meetings, the public provided input through online surveys, online open houses, community group briefings, tours of the airport and tables at community events staffed by Port employees. For more information, review the Community Involvement Report.
Implementation of the Master Plan will take place over the next 20 years as projects are identified to replace aging or obsolete facilities. Improvements are typically funded through federal and state grants, user fees, and airport lease revenues.
Q. Are there plans for commercial air service at Hillsboro?
A. Based on the capacity at PDX and airline business needs, there are no plans for commercial air service at this time. This will be re-evaluated in future long-term plans and analyses. The Preferred Alternative was designed to support facilities for commercial air service if demand should materialize in the future.
Q. Will there be more cargo flights at Hillsboro?
A. Although additional cargo flights are a possibility, current facilities are adequate to accommodate current and future cargo demand at Hillsboro for the timeframe assessed for this report.
Q. Are there plans to add/expand/extend runways at Hillsboro?
A. There are not any plans to change the runways. The current runway configuration is expected to provide sufficient capacity for the next 20 years. A shorter third runway opened in 2015 intended for use by flight training and small aircraft. The third runway allows the main runway to be used for longer distance flights and larger aircraft.
Q. Are there plans to develop other areas of the Hillsboro Airport for additional aviation-related businesses?
Yes, there are plans to build a new terminal in about the same location as the current terminal near Cornell Road. This redevelopment will include retail opportunities taking advantage of the proximity of Cornell Road. There are plans to move flight school operations to the north quadrant of the airport for students to more easily access the adjacent parallel runway. This move allows the expansion of executive aviation facilities and corporate shuttles, if needed, in the South quadrant. There are also plans to develop some airport land in the north quadrant of the airport for light industrial uses. Proceeds from this development can help ensure the financial sustainability of airport.
Q. How can I become more involved with airport issues?
A. Please contact the Port of Portland to learn more about additional involvement opportunities.