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.
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.
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) requirements by the December 31, 2015 deadline and is currently in the process of implementing it.
Runway Safety Area (RSA) Improvements Projects
- Project 1: Relocate 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.
- Project 3: Terminal reconfiguration. The project is currently out to bid, with goal of bid opening on September 16 and awarding the project late September.
- Project 4: Airport operations building. Architecture firm, Ruscitto, Latham, Blanton is finishing design with a goal of final documents available by September 5, bid opening on September 25 and awarding of contract September 30.
- Project 5: Terminal apron reconstruction/site preparation. Full construction is now underway with contractor, Western Construction.
- Project 5A: Gate relocations. Project is completed.
- Project 6: Relocate Taxiway B/remove Taxiway A/north apron. Construction to begin next spring but preparations are beginning now. A draft of grant application submitted to the FAA and is awaiting review. A draft Scope of Work was approved at the September Board Meeting. Next steps are fee negotiation and independent estimates.
- Facility/hangar acquisitions: Two owners plan to rebuild and Staff is working with owners to develop sites. US Forest Service has decided to relocate their helitack base off airport and the offer for their existing facility has been accepted.
- 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, although 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.
- Master Plan: Scope of Work has been executed and Master Planning is underway. Inventory and forecast phases of the project will begin immediately. Master plan team will present the initial draft of work product at the December Board Meeting.
- There have been a number of concerns registered this month regarding cooperation with Voluntary Noise Abatement Procedures. Since the Voluntary Noise Abatement Procedures were developed, commercial and charter jet traffic has increased significantly at SUN. Because a large number of jet aircraft are required to operate using instrument flight plans from take off to landing, air traffic control is prohibited from redirecting these aircraft on approach or departure, resulting in a larger number of aircraft now operating over the center of the valley.
- Airport Staff remains responsive to these concerns and is continuing efforts to solicit subscription to the airport's Voluntary Noise Abatement Procedures at every opportunity.
- Fly Sun Valley Alliance is working on airport passenger surveys for summer/fall. Enplanements at SUN are strong - statistics show that summer YTD total seats available are up 34% and total enplanements are up 53%. General feedback is very positive about improvements to air service.
- FMAA Legal Counsel has drafted a letter to the City of Bellevue regarding the Bellevue/Flying Hat Ranch proposed annexation. FMAA Board approved the letter as drafted and it will be forwarded to Bellevue City Council.
Upcoming Opportunities to Learn More
- Coffee Talk - Q&A with Airport Manager Rick Baird and Communications Director, Candice Pate
- Tuesday, September 30, 7:30-9AM at Zaneys in Hailey.
- Airport Tour - see the challenges first hand
- Wednesday, October 1, 12:00-1:30PM, light lunch will be served. Space is limited, email Cecilia@flyfma.com to reserve your spot.
- NEW! All tour attendees are entered in a drawing to win a scenic flight tour of the Wood River Valley courtesy of FMAA.
back to top
Photo: (Header) Planes at Friedman Memorial Airport - by Nils Ribi