Friday, April 7, 2006

Give airport site a name, not a number?

Express Staff Writer

To longtime Friedman Memorial Airport Authority member Len Harlig, the time has come to rechristen the proposed new airport site and give it a name, instead of a number.

Harlig told the authority at its monthly meeting Tuesday night the identification of site No. 10 in southern Blaine County by a number lacks "stature and elegance." The new airfield to replace the Hailey airport would be located east of state Highway 75, just north of the Blaine-Lincoln county line.

Hailey Mayor Susan McBryant, who also sits on the board, suggested the new airport should preserve the name Friedman. The pioneer Wood River Valley family donated the original land for the Hailey airport early in the 1900s.

But Blaine County Commissioner Tom Bowman, also an authority member, said while he favored an interim name, the board should not decide now on a permanent name.

Perhaps, Harlig said, eventually a contest inviting public suggestions would produce a selection from which a new name could be picked.

The otherwise sober discussion was lightened by the humor of Mike Rasch, former general manager of Sun Valley Aviation and now chief financial officer of its parent company, SevenBar Enterprises, who was in the audience.

Name the airport after the person who attended the most site selection committee meetings over more than a year, he said.

The board deferred any action.

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