The purpose of
Airport Solutions Update
is to keep the public informed about the ongoing efforts to improve air service at Friedman Memorial Airport and to pursue
a replacement airport.
Our goal, as always, is to uphold our commitment to the public to be open, accessible and as transparent as possible.
Updates are posted on IFLYSUN.COM
and sent out via email when new information is available.
*NOTE: Items marked with an asterisk have occurred since the last FMAA meeting and will be briefed at the next meeting.
April 12, 2013
Improvements to Friedman Memorial Airport - The
Federal Aviation Administration has indicated that FMA has design
deficiencies that, if not remedied, could result in the reduction or
elimination of some air service. As such, FMAA partnered with
the FAA to study ways to meet the design standards for aircraft that use
the airport currently (C-II and C-III). The team has identified a plan
to meet congressional safety area requirement and is currently in the
process of implementing it.
Runway Safety Area Improvements Project
- With a path identified, the team continues to proceed with relentless forward progress.
In a span of 30 days,
negotiations have been finalized for the scope of work (including a
savings of nearly $100K), airport improvement grants have been submitted
and work has begun on the Runway Safety Area Improvements formulation
Project. This level of progress would ordinarily take 90 days+ but time
is of the essence, especially as we aim to take advantage of this
FAA has reviewed the modifications to standards documentation (MOS) submitted and discussions are ongoing.
Airport staff is scheduled to travel to the FAA's Helena Airport District Office (ADO) April 15-17.
Instruments Procedures Feasibility Study
- Results of the recently completed Approach Procedure Improvement
Study show that improvements in reliability are possible, though they
are expensive and difficult to achieve.
- The most effective and
widely usable improvements would be achieved through ground-based
navigation, such as an investment in an Offset Instrument Landing System
(ILS)/LDA, similar to GPS-W. In contrast to past discussion regarding
the feasibility of an ILS at the Airport, this type of system could in
fact become feasible in conjunction with some of the airfield
re-configuration that is anticipated.
- Though improvements could
also likely be realized through NexGen technology, the effectiveness
would be limited at this stage due to the fact that the equipment and
training has yet to be widely adopted by airlines and all airport users.
- Next steps are to share the findings of the study with the FAA for inclusion and further exploration in future planning studies.
Pursuit of a replacement airport-
A replacement airport is likely the best long-term solution for air
service to this community. Critical components in the replacement
airport process would include locating a feasible site, building
community support, identifying and developing funding sources and
evaluating operational feasibility.
Potential Friedman Air Traffic Control Tower Closure - FMA's
Air Traffic Control Tower is on the FAA's list of 149 airport contract
tower closures due to federal budget sequester cuts, which would take
effect June 15.
- It is critical that this community let their elected officials
know that continued FAA funding of four contract towers is extremely
important to not only the Wood River Valley but to the entire State of
- Legislation has been introduced in both the Senate and
the House in an effort to keep the 149 towers on the list open. We must
pressure our elected officials to vote in favor of this legislation.
- Recognizing the tower's critical
role in facilitating a safe and expeditious flow of air traffic in and
out of our community, the FMAA Board continues to demonstrate their
commitment to keeping the tower open:
- They have directed Airport Staff to work toward funding and
accepting an FAA offer to extend Hailey Tower in the Federal Contract
program for 30 days at the Airport's expense and to continue to explore
airport self-funding of the tower.
- FMAA is also researching and pursuing all litigation options against the FAA to keep the tower funded and open.
SkyWest Announces Additional Flights
- SkyWest Airlines is adding a
significant increase in seat capacity between Sun Valley and Delta's
Salt Lake City hub beginning this summer and expected to continue
throughout the rest of the year. Beginning June 1, SkyWest will
increase its number of daily flights from three to five, ultimately
increasing to seven daily SUN departures through the peak summer months.
community should be aware the this is a big vote of confidence by
SkyWest and the more we can all do to fill these flights, the better it
is for all of us. Be sure to check Friedman first for your travel needs.
Upcoming Opportunities to Learn More
- Coffee Talk - Q&A with Airport Manager Rick Baird and Communications Director, Candice Pate
- Monday, April 23, 7:30-9AM, Starbucks, Ketchum
- Airport Tour - see the challenges first hand
- Wednesday, April 24, 5:00-6:30PM. Space is limited, email Cecilia@flyfma.com to reserve your spot.
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Photo: (Header) Planes at Friedman Memorial Airport - by Nils Ribi