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Resilience team assesses Oregon airports to plan for recovery from earthquakes


Critical airports assessed


  • The Oregon Department of Aviation needed to know how a major earthquake could disrupt operations at four busy airports in the state. To safeguard travelers, provide service in an earthquake emergency, and lessen the chance of a severe economic hit to the region, the department made plans to understand the risks at each airport and how they could efficiently return to service.
  • The department trusted Haley & Aldrich to complete comprehensive resilience assessments at all four airports. We brought expertise regarding the area’s disaster vulnerability as well as strong relationships with many of the local emergency management and public works agencies that would be involved in emergency response.
  • To conduct the assessments, our resilience team reviewed existing materials and, in some cases, performed additional geotechnical exploration and analysis of the risks posed by an earthquake: liquefaction, seismic instability, settlement of the ground, and stability of slopes.
  • Working with civil and structural engineering partners, we also assessed each site’s communications infrastructure; building and pavement materials; and equipment, fuel, and other storage capacities. And we evaluated each site’s existing emergency plans and potential dependence on local and regional infrastructure.
  • Crucially, we helped the client connect our findings with existing resilience goals for each airport to make sure recommendations aligned with what was possible and practical. Drawing on our understanding of stakeholder priorities, we interviewed airport personnel to understand the aims and needs at each site after a disaster. We then drew up resilience plans, three of which were completed under a grant from the Department of Aviation.
  • Our plans built a foundation for helping these sites become more resilient to the impact of an earthquake. They will also serve as a template for future airport resilience assessments around the state.

For more information, contact:

Laura Hanson headshot

Laura Hanson

Senior Project Manager

Ben Chandler

Principal Consultant