Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Kiosks explain new airport need

Information centers set up in three counties

Pat Higgins, left, and Kathy Rothgeb check out an airport information kiosk in the main foyer of the Giacobbi Square shopping center in Ketchum. Photo by Willy Cook

Seven kiosks displaying information about a proposed new airport to replace Friedman Memorial have been set up in Blaine, Camas and Lincoln counties for viewing prior to two public meetings on Dec. 3 and 4 to discuss the new airfield.

The kiosks in Blaine County are at Sun Valley Aviation at the airport, Atkinsons’ markets in Bellevue and Hailey, Giacobbi Square in Ketchum and the Sun Valley Post Office; in Lincoln County at Sawtooth Food Town in Shoshone; and in Camas County at the U.S. Post Office in Fairfield.

Standing just under 6 feet tall, the three-sided, movable kiosks are covered with text data as well as graphics explaining the need for a new airfield, sites considered for the field and how the multi-million dollar “environmental impact statement” study now under way is the lead-up to a decision on a new field and its location.

The EIS, which could take two years to complete, is required by the Federal Aviation Administration before any site is approved. The agency will pay the entire estimated $2 million cost.

The public meetings are scheduled for Monday, Dec. 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Community Campus in Hailey and for Tuesday, Dec. 4, from 10 a.m. to noon at the same location. They will be hosted by the FAA and the consulting firm of Landrum & Brown. Officials will answer questions and take suggestions regarding the study.

Members of the Friedman Memorial Airport Authority, which designated a preferred site in southern Blaine County east of state Highway 75 after more than a year of site selection studies by a citizens committee, has no role in the public meetings other than as observers. The EIS is the sole responsibility of the FAA and its contractual consultant.

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