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Bill targeting Aurora Airport runway extension won't get a committee hearing, essentially killing it

House Bill 4092 is dead, according to a representative from the state's Legislative Policy and Research Office. The bill, which airport officials and pilots hoped would lead to an extension of the Aurora Airport's runway by 1,000 feet, languished in the Rules Committee.

Read to representatives the first day of the Legislature's session, it was sent to the Rules Committee after a Feb. 9 public hearing. On Feb. 28, the spokesperson told the Canby Herald there was no hearing scheduled for the bill, so it will not be discussed at all.

A bill that would have led to a runway extension at Aurora Airport had died in committee.

The bill never seemed to get much community support from residents. Most claimed it would have circumvented current rules for such an extension as well as leading to noise and fuel pollution. Others felt the bill's backers didn't provide much information regarding the bill and appeared to be trying to get the legislation through without residents' knowledge.

One farmer who owned fields on either side of the airport and near the where the extension would end said the process would have made it difficult to move farming equipment and crops because it would have closed Kiel Road.

At the same time corporate businesses and local firms that frequently use Aurora Airport hoped the bill would pass, allowing bigger jets into the airport. They stressed the safety of the longer runway and the ability to fill fuel tanks and move larger cargoes. And the bill's major sponsor, Rep. Rick Lewis from Silverton, explained he wanted to ensure a larger runway in case of an emergency to bring in supplies, manpower and help.

But he neglected to contact state geologists who said the soil's composition would liquefy in a moderate to heavy earthquake.

Following the Feb. 9 hearing, the Transportation Committee sent the bill to the Rules Committee where it died.

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