Portland International Airport neighbors should expect some temporary flight pattern changes associated with Friday’s partial reopening of the south runway.
The intersection of the south runway and crosswind (north-south) runway is now under construction, closing the crosswind runway. The reopening of the east half of the south runway will help reduce aircraft noise for neighbors living north and south of the airport, as the reconstruction of the west half of the runway continues. Those neighborhoods have experienced an increase in flights due to increased use of the airport’s crosswind runway during the project.
In the first part of September, the entire south runway will close once again in order to complete the reconstruction of the runway. At that time, aircraft operations will resume on the crosswind runway. The south runway reconstruction project is scheduled to wrap up in early October with normal aircraft operations returning to PDX.
The south runway project is the final phase of a three-year runway rehabilitation program. Worn by years of aircraft use, the entire 11,000 foot runway is currently being reconstructed. In 2009, the Port of Portland rehabilitated the north runway, and in 2010, extended the north runway from the former 8,000 feet to 9,825 feet. The longer runway can now accommodate the larger aircraft departures during the south runway project. The runway improvement program is designed to keep the airport fully operational, while keeping changes in air traffic and noise as brief as possible.