Friedman officials stress that new
Airport update delivered to Ketchum
By GREGORY FOLEY
Express Staff Writer
Two senior supervisors of Friedman
Memorial Airport are advertising a plan to pursue a set of short-term
improvements to the facility while concurrently seeking a location for a new
Rick Baird, airport manager, and Mary Ann
Mix, chairwoman of the Friedman Memorial Airport Authority, told Ketchum City
Council members Monday, May 17, that ever-evolving federal regulations and
increased use of the airport have combined to force changes at the site.
"Weíre really full. And thatís starting to
happen more and more," Baird said.
Baird and Mix appeared before city
officials to provide an update on the Airport Authorityís new 10-year master
plan for Friedman. The update of the airport master plan is currently in the
final stages of approval by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Baird and Mix are scheduled to make a
similar presentation to the Sun Valley City Council on Thursday, May 20.
Baird told Ketchum officials that the
authority has opted to pursue a management approach that calls for making a set
of short-term improvements to Friedman while conducting a study of potential
sites for a new facility, which would ultimately replace the Hailey airport.
Baird said making long-term improvements
to Friedman to bring the airport into compliance with FAA regulations were
determined to bear unreasonable impacts and costs.
Baird stressed that the FAA will not allow
Friedman managers to operate the airport long term without making substantial
improvements or moving its operations to a new site.
"You donít have a choice to do nothing,"
Friedman is estimated to see its passenger
demand double in the next 20 years, he added.
Baird said the process of selecting a site
for a new airport in the Wood River Valley region will take approximately 18
months. A new airport would take an estimated seven to 10 years to build, he
If a new airport is funded and
constructed, the FAA would not continue to fund the operation of Friedman, Baird
The last update of the Friedman Memorial
Airport master plan was conducted in 1994.
Ketchum Council members did not comment on
the presentation by Baird and Mix.
"Itís not necessarily a pretty picture,"
Mayor Ed Simon said.