local weather Click for Sun Valley, Idaho Forecast
 front page
 public meetings

 last week

 express jobs
 about us
 advertising info
 classifieds info
 internet info
 sun valley central
 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 © 2003 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 Dec 31, 2003 - Jan 6, 2004


Weather plays havoc with air travelers

Express Staff Writer

Heavy snowfall in the Wood River Valley forced air travelers to be bused into the area for the holidays, some from as far away as Salt Lake City on Friday, Dec. 26. A weather-related closure of the Salt Lake City Airport caused disruptions in flight connections and baggage delivery.

"We are very busy with luggage," Todd Matney, Sky West manager at the Hailey Airport, said Tuesday.

Plow crews worked through the night, Monday, Dec. 29, to prepare Friedman Memorial Airport for clearer afternoon weather Tuesday.

"We start plowing snow the instant it starts accumulating and stay on it until it lifts," said Rick Baird, Friedman Memorial Airport manager.

The procedure at the airport is to clear the runways when weather is too bad for flying and to be ready for flights as soon as the cloud ceiling lifts sufficiently. If snow piles get too high to be clear for airplane wings to pass or if there is more than two inches of snow on the runway, the airport is closed, Baird said.

Plowing and uncovering the 300 lights on the edges of the runway take a minimum of eight hours. Runway lights have to be shoveled by hand.

"This morning I started seeing stars about 3 a.m.," Baird said Tuesday. General aviation pilots were cleared for takeoff at 7 a.m.

The airport was closed after 7 p.m. Christmas Eve until 10:30 a.m. Christmas Day, and again from Saturday afternoon, Dec. 27, until early Tuesday morning, Dec. 30.

Tuesday, Sky West and Horizon Airlines started the day busing customers back and forth from the Twin Falls airport. Sky West hoped to get Tuesday’s late afternoon and evening flights out on schedule at hailey. But passengers for Horizon’s direct evening flight to Oakland still had to be bused.

More winter weather is expected through the New Year’s weekend. Passengers are asked to confirm flights three and one-half-hours prior to departure.

Poor mountain weather is a double edged sword, Baird said. "If people are here to ski, (the snow) is wonderful. But getting in and out of this mountain environment can be difficult. Some people will have to ride the bus to Twin Falls, but in the long run we think the snow is a good thing."

The Horizon travel update line is (208) 788-1281. The Sky West number is (208) 788-4887.



City of Ketchum

Formula Sports


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.