Reflecting on PDX Planning, Development and More

New development and buildings, airport renovations, additional parking, social equity, public engagement, multimodal transportation and natural resources…

These are a few of the many topics considered by the Portland International Airport Community Advisory Committee in their more than six years together.

The 30-member committee is an outgrowth of Airport Futures—the three-year planning process which created a long-range plan for PDX. The committee is charged with providing meaningful input on airport-related planning and development and overseeing the implementation of Airport Futures. Sponsored by three entities—Port of Portland, City of Portland and City of Vancouver—the committee meets quarterly.

Last month, the committee paused to reflect on its work, and here’s what some members had to say:

Chad Eiken
Chad Eiken

Chad represents committee co-sponsor City of Vancouver and is director of the City of Vancouver Community and Economic Development Department.

“The committee is a forum unlike any I’ve experienced in my 30 years of city planning work where diverse stakeholders are provided with detailed information about all aspects of airport operations and development plans and are given an opportunity to express any concerns or ideas, ask questions, and then take information back to their constituents. Collectively the committee process pushes the airport to be better, even if some of the issues are contentious.”

Stacey Triplett
Stacey Triplett

Formerly serving as vice-chair of the committee, Stacey represented Metro, and is now the community programs manager for Worksystems, Inc.

“The interplay of many communities’ interests and engagement happened at every committee meeting. My participation was well-supported; I left my role as vice-chair feeling like my time was well-spent in bridging equity plans with community oversight in such a wide variety of areas, projects and new initiatives. The social equity subcommittee introduced an expansive idea of actions PDX could take to improve its relevance to community development goals in partnership with the neighborhoods nearest the airport as well as with communities of color regionwide.”

 

Tom Armstrong
Tom Armstrong

Tom represents committee co-sponsor City of Portland and is a supervising planner for the city’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.

“The committee is a success because of everyone’s commitment to the process. The sustained effort over six years has built relationships and a depth of knowledge that can’t be produced in single-project public engagement efforts. It is a testament to the Port for their willingness to provide the continuing staff support to make the committee a productive forum, but more importantly it is the time investment of the committee members that make it a success.”

Tina Burke
Tina Burke

Formerly Transportation Security Administration federal security director-mission support for Oregon, Tina previously served on the committee, representing airport employees.

“I appreciated the opportunity to serve as an airport representative on the committee as it’s invaluable for airport and community leaders to understand the perspective of the more than 10,000 employees who work at PDX. The Port’s interest in ensuring that PDX is a great place to work is one of the things I most enjoyed about my more than 14 years with the TSA at PDX, and I was always confident that they considered and valued the perspective of airport employees.”

Jeff Owen
Jeff Owen

Jeff is committee chair and represents multimodal transportation, currently serving as TriMet’s strategic planning coordinator.

“I find the committee to be a valuable resource to the community in improving connections for people walking, biking and riding transit to the airport. This includes bike parking, the multi-use pathway, the MAX Red Line and the recently created Line 272-PDX Night Bus. Our committee has interactive and meaningful discussion and recommendations relating to PDX programs including PDXNext, social equity, ground transportation, environmental programs, small business development, natural resources and waste management.”

Micah Mescal
Micah Meskel

A member of the natural resources ad hoc committee, Micah is the activist program manager for Audubon Society of Portland.

“Over the past several years of my involvement on the committee, I have especially enjoyed serving on the natural resources ad hoc committee, which works to distribute airport mitigation funds. It’s been fulfilling to play a role in the selection of community-led projects to restore natural resources and provide social and community benefits to neighborhoods affected by ongoing airport operations.”

Dan Moeller
Dan Moeller

Dan represents Metro, serves on the natural resources ad hoc committee and is the conservation program director for Metro Parks and Nature.

“My role, along with others on the committee, has been to advise on the use of Port funds to support community-led natural resource enhancement opportunities. The projects supported by the natural resources committee and larger committee have made significant improvements to the Columbia Slough, for example, and engaged local non-profit organizations and community members in that work. I feel fortunate to be a part of that process and to represent Metro as the Port realizes the impressive vision set for PDX.”

Joe Smith
Joe Smith

Joe Smith is a retired lawyer and serves the committee as the representative of the PDX Citizen Noise Advisory Committee.

“The committee is a sounding board for airport planning, development and operational decisions. First, it works because staff and leadership are always asking ‘how will this play with the committee,’ and because committee members often have unique insights into potential effects of Port actions. Second, by soliciting open-ended input from the committee, ideas and insights for enhancing PDX’s operations and value surface that otherwise might never arise.”