The New Jet Age? The Future of SW Oregon Airports
Time: 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Taping and Broadcast
This program will be taped on ZOOM at 1 PM on Tuesday, June 15. Those who would like to join the ZOOM session or submit questions can go to cityclubofeugene.org/sign-up-to-participate/ for contact information.
Oregon is home to nearly 100 public-use airports, ranging in size from Portland International Airport with over 13 million annual passengers, to small unattended airports like the McDermitt State Airport in Malheur County. These airports are critical to the economic vitality of communities throughout the state and act as key nodes for both passenger and freight traffic.
Worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic has upended global aviation, with passenger air transport down 75% in August 2020 and freight traffic down about 12% during the same span, according to the International Air Transport Association. Here in Oregon, passenger travel at the Eugene Airport in January 2021 remained 60% below its January 2020 level, though there are nascent signs of a recovery (including the introduction of service from Southwest and Avelo Airlines).
While Federal funds have provided millions of dollars in support to airports throughout Southwest Oregon—including recent grants to small airports in Florence, Creswell, and Cottage Grove—many airports find themselves at an inflection point. As COVID restrictions ease, demand for air travel remains strong in many parts of the state, including the South/Central Coast. Meanwhile, the environmental impact of aviation remains under the microscope as Oregon grapples with its climate goals.
Are we at the beginning of a new age in aviation? How should we think about airports (and air travel) in the context of economic competitiveness and environmental sustainability? What new ideas have emerged from the pandemic?
We’ll explore these ideas with leaders in aviation from throughout the State. We hope you’ll join us.
Title: Airport Manager
Organization: Hobby Field, Creswell
Shelley Humble is the Airport Manager of Hobby Field in Creswell, where she has worked for 22 years. Hobby Field, which is owned and operated by the City of Creswell, sits on 102 acres just east of I-5 and is one of Oregon’s busiest General Aviation Airports.
Organization: Oregon Department of Aviation
Betty Stansbury, A.A.E., is the Director of the Oregon Department of Aviation. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management from the Florida Institute of Technology, and is an Accredited Airport Executive (AAE) with over thirty years of airport management experience.
Betty has served in airports in Texas, Kansas, Oregon, Indiana, and most recently in North Carolina, as the Executive Director of the Pitt-Greenville Airport Authority. Her prior service in Oregon as an airport manager in the 1990s left her with a strong desire to return.
Title: Acting Airport Director
Organization: Eugene Airport
Cathryn Stephens, A.A.E., is the Acting Airport Director of Eugene Airport and has worked at EUG since 2007. An Accredited Airport Executive, Stephens serves on the Board of the American Association of Airport Executives and as chair of the AAAE Diversity Committee. She is past-president of the Northwest Chapter of AAAE and the Oregon Airport Management Association.
Prior to her work in the aviation industry, Stephens worked for 16 years in television news as a reporter, anchor, producer, and photographer, in addition to experience in radio and newspaper.
She earned a BS from Oregon State University and an MS from the University of Oregon, where she was awarded the Capstone Recognition Award. She serves on the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies Airport Cooperative Research Program Oversight Committee, the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Council, and as ex-officio alternate on the Travel Lane County Board of Directors.