Aurora, Oregon State Airport Tower Update

With completion scheduled for Spring, 2015, construction continues on the Aurora, Oregon State Airport control tower.

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Construction Toward A Crowning Achievement Continues on the Aurora, Oregon Airport Tower

Airport safety supporters deem the upgrade vital, since the Aurora State Airport is considered the third busiest in Oregon.

The new Aurora control tower will provide air traffic controllers with greatly improved views of take offs, taxiing and landings. In addition to enhanced safety, the new control tower could provide a financial boost to greater Aurora, Oregon with what some suggest could pave the way for more economic growth.

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Proposed Overhead Site Layout of Aurora State Airport Tower

The Aurora, Oregon State Airport control tower will be 70 feet high with a workspace of approximately 5,600 square feet.  Centrex Construction of Tigard is the general contractor.

Aurora, Oregon Airport Tower

Construction of Aurora State Airport’s air traffic control tower continues, as workers perform exterior work in beautiful weather.

Aurora Oregon
Workers Busy on Aurora State Airport’s Control Tower

Aurora has Oregon’s fourth busiest airport. Construction of the Aurora State Airport control tower is estimated at 3.3 million dollars, with completion expected around January, 2015.

Interesting History
The airport was built by the United States Army Air Forces in 1943 when it was known as the ‘Aurora Flight Strip.’ It was an outlying supporting airfield to Portland’s Army Air Base for military aircraft on training flights. The future Aurora Airport was then closed after World War II, and turned over for state government use by the War Assets Administration (WAA).

Tower Background
The new Aurora State Airport tower has been on and off the facility’s master plan since 1978. Given the airport’s mixed traffic use of corporate jets, air-ambulance, recreation flyers, plus fixed wing and helicopter training operations, combined with a no radar service below 2,500 feet, aviation professionals consider the new tower critical to air safety.

The Oregon Department of Aviation arranged funding for the tower with state lottery dollars, along with FAA and other state funds. 

Aurora Oregon Firm Buys Army Helicopters

Columbia Helicopters based in Aurora, Oregon recently acquired five former army helicopters through a General Services Administration auction. As each craft enters the Columbia Helicopters maintenance facility, technician teams will conduct extensive inspections, including airframes, systems and components to make them airworthy.

Aurora Oregon
Boeing CH-47D Delicopter

As former military aircraft, the helicopters will be operated under restricted Federal Aviation Administration guidelines. This means they will not be used for passenger transport, but for support tasks like aerial firefighting, construction, and functions related to the oil and gas industry. No specific projects have been announced for the recently acquired helicopters, including use for timber transport.

Aurora Oregon
CH-47 Helicopter Cockpit

Founded in 1957, Columbia Helicopters is one of Aurora, Oregon’s largest employers. Columbia Helicopters have been featured in Hollywood movies, including Under Siege, Demolition Man, King Kong Lives, Starman and Runaway Train.

For more information about this vital Aurora, Oregon business, visit the Columbia Helicopters website here.

Aurora Oregon

Aurora Airport Approved For Tower

News of an air traffic control tower for the Aurora Airport was recently announced.

Aurora Oregon
Aurora State Airport

As the third busiest airport in Oregon, approximately 90,000 landings and takeoffs reportedly occur at Aurora each year. U.S. Senators Wyden and Merkley are on record for supporting the project, which is expected to enhance flight safety. Groundbreaking for the control tower is scheduled sometime in April, with completion expected toward the end of 2014. Read a recent story about the Aurora, Oregon airport tower here.

The Aurora Airport Is In The News

A recent article was featured in the Canby Herald newspaper with the headline: Aurora State Airport:  Finding Its Economic Footing.

The news story provides an insightful look into changes coming to the Aurora Airport. A nice summary of the article is also found in the report’s opening paragraph:

Quietly, underneath the radar, so to speak, the Aurora State Airport has been busy expanding its economic influence in Canby, Wilsonville and the surrounding area.

Read the full article here.

Aurora Oregon Airport