Aviation Conference, Open House Canceled at Aurora Airport

A “look inside the fence” at Aurora State Airport, originally planned for later this summer, has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Oregon Pilots’ Association (OPA) and Positive Aurora Airport Management (PAAM) leaders Becky Breckenridge and Tony Helbling, respectively, made the decision to postpone the airport’s Oregon Aviation Conference and Open House, previously scheduled for Aug. 1, 2020, until the summer of 2021.

According to the Friends of Aurora Airport, the event was planned to “offer the general public ‘a look inside the fence’ at Aurora Airport, inviting residents of close-by Aurora, Charbonneau and Wilsonville, many of whom drive by without ever realizing all the great careers that are begun here, lives that are saved and forest fires fought.”

The day was to include aircraft and product displays and discussions. The Oregon Pilots’ Association was also planning to hold their annual fly-in meeting that day, with speakers and demonstrations for their members.

Both groups have highlighted the significance of the Aurora Airport and general aviation (smaller, non-commercial and private aircraft) to the nation’s economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

Because of reduced availability of flights and the higher risk of contracting Covid-19 on a commercial flight, they say the industry airline anticipates an uptick in the use of general aviation to move medically fragile individuals, essential business travelers and emergency medical items like blood or organs.

They assure that flight operations at the Aurora Airport are continuing safely and effectively, and are following the recommended measures of the Oregon Health Authority and Centesr for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Aurora Airport is the state’s fourth-busiest behind PDX, Hillsboro and Bend. Airport businesses have approximately 1,200 full-time employees living in the surrounding communities of Aurora, Canby, Wilsonville, Molalla, Tualatin, West Linn, Woodburn and many more.

The airport is home to heavy-lift helicopter operators Columbia Helicopters and Helicopter Transport Services. It is also the headquarters and local base for LifeFlight, which operates both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters throughout the northwestern United States.

Many more businesses operate aircraft out of Aurora, supporting powerline construction, aerial photography/mapping, flight training, aircraft repair and avionics installations. Aurora is also the home of the largest aircraft kit manufacturer in the world, Vans Aircraft.

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