Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hailey: No ‘private airport’ here

Commissioner ‘confident’ FAA will choose site south of Timmerman

Hailey leaders are adamant that Friedman Memorial Airport be closed to all air service after a new airport is built.

The Hailey City Council doesn't want an airport of any kind in Hailey and passed a resolution to make its opinion official Monday night.

The council has been at odds in recent years with political interests in the north valley that would like to see Friedman Memorial Airport remain where it is.

The Federal Aviation Administration has determined that Friedman does not meet federal standards and would require a major expansion to be allowed to continue to accommodate aircraft such as the Bombardier Q400, used by Horizon Air.

"The chatter in the community has been that when the commercial airport is moved, there will be a general aviation airport left there," Councilman Fritz Haemmerle said. "The general aviation airport would be removed for the same reasons that the commercial airport is being removed."

The council has often expressed safety concerns as the top reason for relocating the airport. The resolution, formulated by City Attorney Ned Williamson, calls unequivocally for the removal of all commercial and general aviation services at the Friedman Airport site on the south end of town.

"We need to make it official that we don't want a private airport there," Councilman Don Keirn said.

During the Monday council meeting, Blaine County Commissioner Tom Bowman said he is "confident" that "site 10A," six miles south of Timmerman Junction in southern Blaine County, would be chosen by the FAA as the site for the new airport.

"It will be 36.6 miles from the front door of the Sun Valley Lodge," Bowman said.

The Friedman Memorial Airport Authority has endorsed site 10A as its preferred choice. The FAA will make the final decision.

Tony Evans:

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