Airport Solutions Update
is intended to keep the public informed about ongoing efforts to improve air service at Friedman Memorial Airport and to pursue
a replacement airport.
Our goal is to be open, accessible and as transparent as possible for all.
The Update is posted on our website and sent to our email database as new information becomes available. To become a subscriber, please go to WWW.IFLYSUN.COM
and click on the "Airport Solutions Update" button on the left hand side.
*NOTE: Items marked with an asterisk have occurred since the last FMAA meeting and will be briefed at the next meeting.
The Friedman Memorial Airport Authority (FMAA) has made great strides in recent months identifying a plan to address FAA design deficiencies at Friedman Memorial Airport and exploring ways to improve reliability and increase air service. The latest updates regarding these efforts and others are outlined below.
Improvements to Friedman Memorial Airport - The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has indicated that the Airport 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 (C-III) for aircraft that use the Airport currently. The team has identified a plan to meet congressionally-mandated runway safety area (RSA) requirement by the December 31, 2015 deadline and is currently in the process of implementing it.
Runway Safety Area (RSA) Improvements Project - each milestone completed on time or early
- With construction wrapped up until August or September, we are pleased to report each milestone was completed on time or early.
- Project 1: Relocating hangar taxi lane/overlay apron/security fence improvements. Project is completed.
- Project 2: Relocate/extend Taxiway B and runway safety area grading. Project is completed.
- Projects 3 & 4: Terminal reconfiguration and airport operations building. Both projects were approved unanimously by the City of Hailey Planning & Zoning Commission. Both firms are working hard on their designs, getting ready to go to bid. Architecture committee met on July 17 to discuss interior finishes
- Project 5: Terminal apron reconstruction/site preparation. Design work is slightly behind schedule. Project will be bid on July 29th at 1:30 PM. Construction to start late August.
- Facility acquisitions: All five hangar owners accepted the offers the airport made. Two of them plan to reconstruct and three do not. Discussions are ongoing with the US Forest Service.
- The RSA Improvements Projects will bring Friedman Memorial Airport into compliance with FAA Safety Area Design Standards. They will allow Friedman to survive and thrive with the type and size of aircraft that currently use the airport. They do not address the reliability issues at Friedman. Some improvement in reliability has come with the change to Regional Jets. FMAA continues to work with the FAA to explore new strategies to improve reliability. The RSA Improvements Projects also have the effect of limiting the space needed to sustain ongoing airport operations effectively, such as for snow removal/storage and aircraft parking.
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.
- The Board approved a Master Plan Scope of Work during the April Board meeting. Fee estimates were discussed at the July meeting and discussion will continue at the August meeting.
- Due to the significant expense related to RSA Improvements, rates and charges need to be increased to ensure operational reserves are replenished in a timely fashion.
- Airport Staff developed proposed rates and charges adjustments recommendations that focused on Landing Fees, Transient Aircraft Parking Fees and Passenger Terminal Parking Fees.
- Survey of similar airport's Rates and Charges indicates that even after implementing suggested Rates and Charges adjustments, FMA remains competitive compared to other demographically similar airports.
- FMAA Board directed Staff to establish a public hearing for the proposed FY '15 Rates and Charges
- Staff and Committee have reviewed all comments and refined the Draft FY '15 Budget for the Board and a final budget is expected to be approved at the August meeting.
- It is noted that the FY '15 Budget:
- Provides the Board the ability to operate FMA and meet all the coming year's needs
- Meets FMA needs regarding Safety Area Implementation Projects
- Continues to support the Board's goals to Master Plan sooner, rather than later
- Supports continued progress toward improved reliability
- Is designed so that all revenue generated by the Airport and any local taxes on aviation fuel are expended by the Authority for the capital or operational expenses of the Airport
- Begins the process of restoring FMA operational reserves to pre-Runway Safety Area Implementation Project capacity
- CHECK-IN 90 minutes before 9am - SUN air travelers advised to check-in early this summer for morning flights
- This summer, beginning July 2, there will be 3 flights departing SUN before 9:00am - SLC, SFO and DEN. Since each of these flights is via a 70 passenger regional jet, it is going to be a VERY busy time for check-ins and security. FMAA is encouraging all SUN outbound air travelers to check-in at least 90 minutes in advance for morning flights.
Upcoming Opportunities to Learn More
- Coffee Talk - Q&A with Airport Manager Rick Baird and Communications Director, Candice Pate
- Monday, August 4, 7:30-9AM at the Konditorei in Sun Valley.
- Airport Tour - see the challenges first hand
- Tuesday, August 5, 12:00-1:30PM, light lunch will be served. 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