Airport tower ad plan goes to county commission next

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners will determine whether the Medford airport can put a corporate logo on its control tower, intended to generate extra revenue, as soon as it knows the identity of the business that plans to buy the advertising space.

Medford airport director Bern Case presented a plan for putting the logo on the sides of the 100-foot-tall, 35-foot-wide control tower Tuesday at a Board of Commissioners meeting.

The Medford City Council approved the 675-square-foot sign's size Nov. 17, but county commissioners must approve the action. Knowing which business will be branded on the tower could be up to two months away.

"I don't think we'd ever allow anything that was inappropriate, and it would have to be fitting," said Commissioner C.W. Smith.

The airport is in talks with a company to put its name on the tower, but Case declined to identify the business, saying negotiations are ongoing.

"We have somebody talking to us, and we're proud of who it is," he said.

The tower logo is expected to bring in an additional $360,000 to the airport over a 10-year period, or $3,000 a month. Case said the money could be used to reduce landing fees at the airport, which could bring more business from airline companies.

Case said during the meeting that the advertising space would not be used by a company that distributes goods such as alcoholic beverages or tobacco.

The idea of a corporate logo on the airport tower has generated a measure of local debate. Letters to the editor and online comments from Mail Tribune readers indicate some believe the move is "greedy" and "tacky."

"To be real frank, if I was basing an opinion on what's out there in the media, I don't know that I'd be for it," Case said.

The branding approach already has been used at numerous points around the airport, Case said, including on the large clocks in the terminal. Other spots around town, including U.S. Cellular Community Park, also allow corporate advertising on their facilities, he noted.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at

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