KUAO Master Plan affirmed, runway to be extended 1,000 feet

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AURORA, Oregon — The Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) has affirmed that the Master Plan for Aurora State Airport (KUAO), including its plans for a 1,000-foot runway extension, meets land use standards at all levels from state statutes and state goals to local land use standards.

The Master Plan had been challenged by officials with the cities of Wilsonville and Aurora, who questioned the validity of the Aurora Airport Master Plan and its compliance with land use laws.

Friends of Aurora Airport and the Oregon Department of Aviation argued in favor of the Master Plan, which adds safety improvements to the airport such as a 1,000 foot extension to the runway.

“The LUBA decision enables our airport and our businesses to continue to serve local communities with the same mission critical work we’ve always done,” said Bruce Bennett, president of Aurora Aviation. “Our airport businesses work tirelessly to keep our community safe — whether it’s stepping up in disasters like the recent wildfires or transporting patients. We can all celebrate one less distraction from conducting that work.”

In its ruling, LUBA concluded that the Aurora Airport Master Plan is compatible with the Marion County Comprehensive plan and that the Oregon Aviation Board was not required to separately demonstrate compliance with land use goals.

“This decision is a win because it allows us to move past this unnecessary noise to continue improving our airport to make it the safest and most emergency-ready general aviation airport in the state,” said Dylan Frederick, spokesman for Friends of Aurora Airport. “This decision paves the way for critical safety improvements at the Aurora Airport, including the 1,000-foot runway extension contained in the Aurora Airport Master Plan.”

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