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Airport Solutions: History

How We Got Where We Are Today

The Airport Solutions efforts are aimed at addressing the deficiencies to the FAA's design standards at the Airport. In February 2011, the Friedman Memorial Airport Authority identified a dual path approach: pursuing a replacement airport for the long term while exploring fixes to the existing location in the near term. While current airport solutions efforts are focused on pursuing this dual approach, below is a brief history that provides context to how we got where we are today. New updates will be added at the bottom as progress on this dual path approach is made.

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July 2007

Friedman Memorial Airport - July 2011

Environmental Impact Study (EIS) Initiated
The FAA has long indicated that FMA her design deficiencies that, if not remedied, could result in the reduction or elimination of some air service. As such, the FMAA had been moving towards a replacement airport and had begun the formal process to determine a location with the EIS. 


Friedman Memorial Airport - September 2011

FAA Suspends the EIS
On August 22, 2011, Donna Taylor sent the Friedman Memorial Airport Authority and Airport Manager Rick Baird a letter announcing that the FAA is suspending the EIS indefinitely. When the suspension was announced, the FAA provided the public with a FAQs document regarding the suspension of the EIS. The FAA instructed the FMAA to to the community to determine a path forward.

October 2011- February 2012

Friedman Memorial Airport - September 2011

The FMAA holds numerous public meetings to determine a path forward
The FMAA held several public meetings between October 2011 and February 2012 to gather public comment regarding the suspension and possible next steps.
During the October 2011 FMAA Board Meeting, the FMAA discussed what the next steps should be.


Friedman Memorial Airport - September 2011

FMAA asks FAA about Regional Jets at Friedman
In December, 2011 the FMAA sent a letter to the FAA requesting that regional jets (specifically, the CRJ-700) be added to the existing letter of agreement with the tower that allows the Q400 to operate at Friedman Memorial Airport.


Friedman Memorial Airport - September 2011

Blaine County and City of Hailey approve County and City Airport Guiding Principles
After much public input, Blaine County Commissioners approved a County Airport Strategic Plan on February 28, 2012. The Hailey City Council approved Resolution No. 2012 adopting guiding principles for the operation and relocation and discontinuation of the Friedman Memorial Airport on March 5, 2012.

FMAA Submits Change Proposal to allow regional jets at Friedman
On February 13, 2012 Friedman Memorial Airport submitted a formal change proposal to the FAA requesting to modify the Letter of Agreement between the FMA and the Hailey Traffic Control Tower to allow commercial service Approach Category C aircraft with wingspans up to 95' on Runway 13-31.

On the heels of this finding, SkyWest applied for modification to their operations specification at Friedman to include the CRJ700. The FAA determined that an environmental assessment must be completed before such a modification could be granted.

Based on conversations with the FAA, any changes to FMA's operational Letter of Agreement, such as the addition of another aircraft type like the CRJ700, would require a Safety Risk Management Assessment process.

MAY 2012

Friedman Memorial Airport - September 2011

FMAA begins work on developing an Environmental Assessment to allow  SkyWest's CRJ700 to operate at the Airport
The FMAA is undergoing an Environmental Assessment (EA) because the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires consideration of the environmental consequences of a federal action before the action is taken. The EA will provide a review of the environmental impacts for the proposed action and alternatives to those actions and provides disclosure to the public and decision makers.

Safety Management System Results Released
The Friedman Memorial Airport (SUN) Modification to Existing Letter of Agreement Safety Risk Management Document has been signed and approved.

The Safety Risk Management Assessment determined that the CRJ700 could be added to the existing letter of agreement with the tower.

July 2012

Friedman Memorial Airport - September 2011

Letter of Agreement between Hailey Air Traffic Control Tower and the Friedman Memorial Airport has changed
Effective July 31, 2012 the Hailey FCT, Friedman Memorial Airport Letter of Agreement for the Runway Safety Area for Scheduled Commercial Approach Category C Aircraft has been modified to match language in the current Airport Layout Plan.

Scope approved by FAA for Airport Alternatives Technical Analysis project. The FAA believes that the technical analysis will provide vital information required in order to continue the EIS discussion.


Friedman Memorial Airport - September 2011

Final Environmental Assessment With Finding of No Significant Impact
released by the FAA
As of October 22, 2012, the FAA has completed the EA with a finding of no significant impact. The EA evaluated the environmental effects of the introduction of regional jet service to Friedman Memorial Airport.

This finding clears the way for the FAA to modify SkyWest Airlines request to modify their Operations Specifications to operate CRJ700s at Friedman.


Friedman Memorial Airport - September 2011

Draft Airport Alternatives Technical Analysis Released
The FMAA has completed the draft Airport Alternative Technical Analysis as of November 6, 2012. This document investigates alternatives to improve safety at SUN and considers both C-II and C-III requirements. The goal of this analysis is to provide FAA and FMAA with information they need to make decisions on the future of the airport.


Friedman Memorial Airport -September 2011

Final Airport Alternatives Technical Analysis Released
As of January 2013 the Airport Alternatives Technical Analysis has been approved by the FAA and finalized.

MARCH 2013

Scope of Work approved for Runway Safety Area Improvements Project at FMA
During the March 2013 Regular Board Meeting, the FMAA approved the Scope of Work for the Runway Safety Area Improvements project formulation. The purpose of this formulation is to develop a phasing and funding plan to implement the projects identified in Alternative 6 that are necessary to achieve Runway Safety Area (RSA) compliance.

FMAA sends a letter to the FAA requesting termination of the EIS
On March 13, 2013 the FMAA requested that the FAA formally terminate the Friedman Memorial Airport Environmental Impact Statement.

APRIL 2013

Approach Procedure Improvement Study completed, letter sent to the FAA
The study showed that improvements in reliability are possible, though they are expensive and difficult to achieve. In addition to potential improvements from modifications to approaches, the study showed that the most effective and widely usable improvements might be achieved through installation of ground-based navigation equipment, such as an investment in an Offset Instrument Landing System (ILS)/LDA, similar to GPS-W. Airport staff has sent a letter to the FAA requesting modifications to the existing approaches/missed approaches.

Final Approach Study Report


Approved Plan to Fix Friedman Memorial Airport is identified
In partnership with the FAA, a plan to fix Friedman Memorial Airport through a combination of infrastructure improvements and Modifications to Standards (MOS), is identified. Construction on the phase 1 of the Runway Safety Area Improvement Project is slated to begin Fall 2013.




Photo: (Header) Planes at Friedman Memorial Airport - by Nils Ribi


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