Forecast: more airport noise
Summer aircraft operations expected to
be 3 to 4 percent higher
By PAT MURPHY
Express Staff Writer
To tamper a bit with the U.S. Air Force’s
"Sound of Freedom" slogan, Friedman Memorial Airport might well use the jingo,
"Sound of Economic Freedom," this summer.
Airport manager Rick Baird said Tuesday
that residents of the Hailey and Bellevue areas should be prepared for more
noise this summer as aircraft head this way with more vacationers who’re
discovering Central Idaho’s recreation features.
He said this summer’s aircraft operations
will be 3 to 4 percent more than last summer, and probably double the number of
operations in April, May and June.
"We’ve found that people are patient with
operations all day until a Stage II jet takes off," Baird said.
Stage II jets are older aircraft with
ear-shattering first generation engines. Those that use Friedman generally are
Gulfstream IIs and Learjet 24s.
But as they age, fewer are in operations,
Summer aircraft operation increases are
across the board: Skywest and Horizon airlines add flights and more general
aviation flights—including corporate jets and smaller private aircraft—use the
This week alone, the annual Allen & Co.
gathering of international media tycoons will mean 50 or more jets operating out
of the field.
Summer, Baird also pointed out, is when
afternoon winds are more variable. He said more aircraft will be landing from
the north because of strong winds from the south that make down-wind landings
So more aircraft will be flying over
But Friedman’s voluntary noise abatement
program has become widely known among pilots and aircraft owners throughout the
nation. Through brochures, airport Web site data, a widely distributed videotape
and CD, pilots are provided with directions on the preferred approaches to and
departures from Friedman as well as information on curfew hours when operations
should not be conducted.
Baird said some of his staff would be
working at night to stay in contact with pilots using the field. He also said
that residents who want to register comments or noise reports should call the
Airport Noise Abatement Center at 788-5138.