ORAVI has been heavily
involved for three years in exploring ways to
make air service available to the more rural
communities of Oregon. First, ORAVI wrote,
submitted, testified and lobbied to gain passage of HB2075
which provides the first state funding source
ever established to promote rural air service
(25% of the funds raised go to that purpose).
Then we formed a rural air service committee and held several aviation summits and
meetings; addressing the past, present, and
future of rural air service.
After three years of
studying the rural air issue, and with the
background from the details below, ORAVI submitted
a grant request to establish an on-demand rural
air service. The system would utilize FAA Part 135
aircraft, subsidized on a per-seat-flown basis
from HB2075 rural air funds. This service
would provide affordable air service to all public use
airports in Oregon and assist in mitigating the
Urban | Rural divide by connecting citizens of
rural communities with our metro regions.
It is a sobering reality
that under the current economic models, there is
national air service currently to/from only 4 major
airports in Oregon (Portland, Eugene, Redmond,
Medford). And, only 3 commuter airports
that serve Portland (Pendleton, Klamath Falls,
North Bend) Note: As of late
2017, Klamath Falls and North Bend to Portland
PenAir flights have been discontinued.
But what about Newport,
John Day, La Grande, Burns, Tillamook, Astoria, Baker City our capital in Salem and
many other of the 97 public use airports in
Traditional road based
travel modes have been “disrupted” such as seen
by Uber and Lyft. Driverless autonomous
cars are next, with the planning under way
nationally and in Oregon. What about air
ORAVI asks: “What is
the next disruptive model for air services to
rural areas?” The attached two papers
propose a NEW MODEL for rural aviation that can
provide a more flexible and sustainable
We propose that the State
of Oregon promote an innovative approach that
truly serves the more remote areas of the state,
and links rural and urban together for mutual
benefits as never possible before. HB2075 bill provides for $5million
over six years to assist with rural air service.
How can these funds be best used to serve truly
rural communities in Oregon?
The following ideas have been developed by the
ORAVI rural air committee and we encourage you
to review them and make comments as we continue
to expand the pool of expertise needed to reach
workable rural air solutions. Thank you.
Whitepaper - Rural
Air Overview & Options
Strawman - Rural Air Oregon
Email comments to
ORAVI Executive Director
HB2075 also provides
funds for FAA grant matches, airport
infrastructure, safety, emergency preparedness
and economic development.