Most readers of the Mountain Express with good memories may recall that in December 2004 the Site Selection Study for the Friedman Memorial Airport relocation announced three "finalist" sites, including one just north of U.S. 20 a few miles into Camas County (Site 13).
Many Wood River Valley residents may not recall, however, that public hearings or meetings on the study had been held exclusively in Hailey up to that point in time. Fortunately, the considerable outcry by Camas Prairie residents after the announcement that Site 13 might be chosen as the preferred site contributed to a delay in the final site selection, and two public hearings were eventually held in Fairfield. Of course, Site 10 (in Blaine County) was eventually chosen as the preferred site by the committee and the airport authority.
Fast forward to January 2008, and now it is the FAA that is holding hearings in Hailey and considering sites on the prairie, but has the Camas County citizenry been fully informed? It appears that the FAA will soon be making a presentation to Fairfield and Camas County elected officials regarding sponsorship of a Friedman Airport replacement, but I feel there has not been adequate public announcement or invitation from the FAA, Camas County or the city of Fairfield.
If you care about whether a Camas County site is considered for a Friedman replacement and want to hold your public servants to account, please plan to attend the meeting in Fairfield on Tuesday, Feb. 12. Camas County residents should be properly informed of FAA machinations and some of you Wood River Valley folks may also want to find out why the FAA feels it is necessary to hunt for a new sponsor when one already exists in Blaine County.