Bend Municipal Airport has seen a dramatic increase in helicopter operations over the past 10 years, with helicopter traffic now accounting for half of the airport’s current 140,000 annual operations. The significant increase in activity and the unique mix of aircraft has created operational challenges at the airport to maintain safety for all users.
As the City of Bend’s airport planning and engineering consultant, one of our assignments included a full airport master plan update and environmental assessment for the airport’s new helicopter landing area. The Master Plan recommended a dedicated helicopter operations area with helipads, helicopter parking, hangars, fueling and other developments. The Helicopter Operations Area (HOA) was the first major project programmed from the master plan. The environmental assessment for the helicopter facilities project was required to quantify site characteristics and impacts.
Century West is currently tasked with construction inspection for the project. In the process, our engineers are also extending the existing water, sewer, and storm facilities over 3,000-feet each to accommodate the new facility. As part of a large, multi-year program, the HOA project includes a combination of funding from three FAA grants, two ConnectOregon grants, and a share of City funding.