Hailey airport tower too good to
By PAT MURPHY
Express Staff Writer
Although millions of dollars are being
spent to upgrade and refurbish Friedman Memorial Airport, something old probably
will be retained instead of building something new.
Airport consulting architect Paul Powers,
of the national firm of Mead & Hunt, told the airport authority that after
studying eight possible sites on the airport, he believes the present control
tower should be retained.
He said it meets all the requirements,
including total line-of-sight surveillance of the taxiways and runway, mandated
by the Federal Aviation Administration.
The 35-foot high control tower, which is
manned by personnel from a private contractor, Serco Management Services, was
built in 1989 at a cost of $97,000.
Powers said that just the relocation of
utilities for a new tower at a different location on the field would cost
He said that new siding material on the
present tower as well as a small building at the base would improve its
Powers called the tower "sort of the
gateway" to the central Wood River Valley area and a familiar landmark for
thousands of drivers and their car passengers passing it every day.
Airport manager Rick Baird seemed to agree
about keeping the present tower. He also said the FAA had never told the airport
it had to be moved or replaced as part of safety upgrading of the field.