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Friday — March 5, 2004


40 nominated for airport study group

List to be pared to 20

The committee’s mission is to identify
"the criteria for any new airport site and making
recommendations of appropriate sites."

MARY ANN MIX, Friedman Memorial Airport Authority chair

Express Staff Writer

A list of nominees to an advisory committee studying whether to build a new airport was characterized Tuesday night as too large and ordered pared in half.

Mary Ann Mix, chair of the Friedman Memorial Airport Authority, said the list of 41 nominees should be cut to about 20 so meetings would be more efficient.

The new advisory committee’s meetings also will be attended by the five-member airport authority board, airport manager Rick Baird, airport attorney Barry Luboviski and possibly airport consultants working on the site selection process. The first meeting is scheduled 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 25, at a site yet to be designated,

Nominees for the committee were sought by the airport authority from nearly two dozen government, business and civic organizations in and near the Wood River Valley.

Several persons were nominated more than once by separate organizations.

Mix said the nominating organizations would be contacted and asked to select one principal member each for the committee as well as one alternate to serve if the regular member was unable to attend.

At least one meeting per month is to be scheduled until the end of the year, when Mix said she hoped studies would be completed and recommendations would be made.

However, more meetings would be scheduled if necessary to accelerate work.

She described the committee’s mission as "identifying the criteria for any new airport site and making recommendations of appropriate sites."

Subjects to be studied cover a wide area of social and technical interests: environment, road access, weather conditions at various sites, nearby wildlife, topography, proximity to population centers, desirability for airline operations, etc.

To some extent, the committee will be covering old ground. The so-called Coffman study in 1990 targeted an area near the small community of Fairfield as a possible new airport site. But interest faded thereafter.

Today, however, local, state and federal regulatory and environmental guidelines are more exacting, and new criteria must be applied to the study and site selection process.

Sure to attract a lot of discussion is the question of the present Friedman Memorial Airport’s fate if a decision is made to build a new airport—should it be retained as a second field or closed?

In addition to meetings being open to the public, the airport authority will disseminate information through regular news media, at a set of small kiosks located in Wood River Valley communities, and through a Web site.

Committee member nominations were submitted by the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, Blaine County Pilot’s Association, Camas County, Camas County Chamber of Commerce, Camas County Economic Development Committee, city of Bellevue, city of Carey, city of Fairfield, city of Ketchum, city of Sun Valley, Hailey Chamber of Commerce, Horizon Air, Idaho Department of Transportation division of aeronautics, Idaho Fish and Game, Lincoln County, Sawtooth Board of Realtors, Skywest Airlines, Sun Valley Aviation, Sun Valley Company and Sun Valley/Ketchum Chamber of Commerce.

The city of Shoshone did not submit nominees.


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