REDMOND, OR -- The Redmond Airport is looking ahead at expansion, knowing that Central Oregon is continuing to grow.
Zach Bass, Redmond Airport's Director, says they started with information gathering. "First off we had to find out, are we going to grow? You have to run all those kind of analyses on what the industry is doing, what our traffic looks like, what's Central Oregon doing with growth? And it would give us some numbers to work with. So, we did see that we're going to double our commercial traffic in twenty years, is what the forecast is."
Bass says, once they knew the current airport wouldn't meet their future customers' needs, the process of expansion planning began, and they invited people to come voice their opinions about what the future Redmond Airport should look like. He says it's going to be a long process. "We look forward to the growth, but it might be a little painful occasionally, as we do so."
Once the Master Plan is complete, it will still need final approval. "Eventually, the Master Plan has to be approved through the City Council, and then, of course, it will have to go to the Federal Aviation Administration for final approval because most of the capital project money is going to come from the FAA, so they need to be really involved in this whole plan."
As far as the Master Plan goes, Bass says the public input, so far, has been invaluable, and that it's an excellent first step toward final approval for expansion, and giving customers what they're looking for in the RDM airport. He says improvements include runway and terminal expansions, off-site parking with a dedicated shuttle, and eventually, interior boarding ramps.