The holiday season is upon us, which means more travelers will be headed to Portland International Airport.
Most people have a passing familiarity with the airport, which for the seventh year in 2019 was named the best airport in the country in a poll conducted by Travel + Leisure magazine.
Even so, few of us really know the place.
Based on the 2017 census, for example, about 655,000 people — nearly the equivalent of the population of Portland — travel through the airport every 12 days.
That may sound outlandish until you realize the airport has 640 arrivals and departures a day with an average of 54,500 people coming or going on planes from around the world.
Here are 11 more things you probably didn’t know about the airport, according to Port of Portland officials. All of the data below are taken from 2018, the latest full-year stats.
• The airport is on nearly 3,290 acres of Port-owned land. The airport infield — runways, taxiways, roadways, and buildings — takes up 1,800 acres, about the size just of nearly 1,400 football fields.
• Nearly 8,300 cups of coffee are consumed before 9 a.m. each day in the terminals’ coffee shops and restaurants.
• Two local artists, Alex Chiu and Jeremy Nichols, received support from the port and Portland Street Alliance to complete a 150-foot-long wall mural celebrating the region’s people, history and natural wonders. The artwork is located in the airport’s north tunnel between the parking garage and baggage claim.
• Each week, the airport’s lost and found department donates five 55-gallon barrels of unclaimed items — ranging from belts to jackets — to the Sunshine Division, an agency that helps the needy.
The items most often lost are laptops and electronic book readers. Last year, just over 2,000 of them were turned into the department. Empty suitcases, duffle bags and backpacks are given to Port Police and Transportation Security Administration agents for use in training.
• More than 120,000 light bulbs are used in the terminal and parking garages.
• In 2018, cleaning crews received 340 calls to clean dog poop off terminal floors.
• The amount of toilet paper used at the airport in an average month would stretch from Portland to Los Angeles.
• At 11,000 feet, the longest runway in Oregon is found at PDX. If stood end-to-end, the runway would be almost as tall as Mount Hood, 11,250 feet. The runway is made of 4,400 rectangular concrete panels, each 19 inches thick. That’s enough concrete to pave a two-lane road for 26 miles.
• Last year, crews removed 15,000 pounds of rubber from the airport’s runways.
• Northeast Airport Way, averaging 58,000 vehicles a day, is the busiest street in Oregon. The Ross Island Bridge, by comparison, serves 34,000 a day.
• Nearly 450,000 gallons of fuel is pumped into aircraft each day. At any given time, 196,000 gallons of fuel is in the underground pipes of the aircraft fueling system, the equivalent of 12,645 kegs of beer.