local weather Click for Sun Valley, Idaho Forecast
 front page
 last week
 express jobs
 about us
 advertising info

 sun valley guide
 real estate guide
 sv catalogs



Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8060 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of October 16 - 22, 2002


Owner of Boeing Business Jet sues airport

Airport says it’s too large 
to land in Hailey

"What this boils down to is, does one individual with a lot of money have the right to undo the planning for an entire community?"

— RICK BAIRD, airport manger

Express Staff Writer

The owner of a private jet deemed by the Friedman Memorial Airport Authority to be too large to land there has filed a lawsuit asking that the authority’s decision be overturned.

Ron Tutor, a part-time Ketchum resident, filed suit in U.S. District Court in Boise on Oct. 7, contending that the airport’s refusal to let him land his Boeing Business Jet there is arbitrary and discriminatory, and thus a violation of his constitutional rights of due process and equal protection.

Tutor is the president of the Tutor Saliba Corp., based in southern California. In November, the corporation’s chief pilot made a request to the airport that it be allowed to land the jet, which he stated has a maximum operating weight of 105,000 pounds, despite the airport’s limit of 95,000 pounds for a dual-wheeled plane. The airport authority reviewed the request at a December meeting and denied it.

"What this boils down to is, does one individual with a lot of money have the right to undo the planning for an entire community?" said airport Manger Rick Baird in an interview.

After months of correspondence on the subject, Tutor filed suit, asking for a permanent injunction restraining the airport from interfering with his right of access.

The airport’s ruling is based on its belief that the runway cannot withstand regular use by planes substantially larger than the stated maximums. Between 1989 and 1991, the airport allowed use by commercial Boeing 737s, which weighed less than the Boeing Business Jet, but ceased those operations in 1991 due to signs of distress in the pavement.

In June, Tutor offered to conduct testing, at his expense, to determine whether the runway could sustain weights greater than those allowed. The lawsuit states that the airport authority’s denial of that request shows the arbitrary nature of its restrictions. In an interview, Baird said the authority denied the request because it believes the type of testing suggested does not yield definitive results.

Baird said that at issue is not only the plane’s weight but the amount of wind its engines generates. He said he worked as an air traffic controller in the airport’s tower during the years that the commercial 737s were in use at the airport, and saw sheets of snow blown across Highway 75 when the planes took off.



Mountain Jobs

Formula Sports

Idaho Conservation League



Edmark GM Superstore : Nampa, Idaho

Premier Resorts Sun Valley

High Country Property Rentals

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.