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Friday, June 11, 2004


Twin Falls, Jerome not invited to committee

Regional airport not before advisory panel

Express Staff Writer

Twin Falls and Jerome counties will not be invited to have representatives on the large advisory committee screening criteria for possibly building a new airport.

The five-member Friedman Memorial Airport Authority decided Tuesday that the issue of whether and where to build a new airport is very much a Wood River Valley area question.

Several members of the board said the distant counties are not "stakeholders" in the possible replacement of the present Hailey airport.

And airport attorney Barry Luboviski pointed out that unless and until a new airport is designated as a regional facility, the Friedman governing board is the only legal entity empowered to manage the quest for a new facility.

Whether Twin Falls and Jerome counties should be invited to join in the airport study was raised at the advisory committee’s initial meeting last month.

Wally Huffman, general manager of the Sun Valley Resort, made the original proposal to invite Twin Falls. Then Jerome County was added.

The advisory committee has scheduled meetings well into next year to study a long checklist of required criteria for siting a new airport, including environment, convenience of location, weather, transportation accessibility, passenger preferences, impact on wildlife, financing and others.

Organizations as well as business and government entities ere asked to nominate members to the advisory group.

Ultimately, the committee will recommend candidate sites, but the authority will make the decision.

When discussing the idea at its monthly meeting Tuesday, airport authority member Susan McBryant, who also is mayor of Hailey, said it would not be logical to include Twin Falls and Jerome counties because of their distant location as well as .not having any affiliation with Friedman Memorial’s operation.


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