SV Aviation breaks ground
Move to opposite end of airport under way
By MATT FURBER
Express Staff Writer
Sun Valley Aviation officially
broke ground Wednesday on a new flight operations base at Friedman Memorial
Airport. The buildings at the northeast corner of the airport that have served
private and charter aircraft customers for over half a century will be torn
down in the fall.
Fixed Base Operator Sun Valley Aviation broke ground on a new executive termi-nal and aircraft hanger Wednesday. The project involves Friedman Memorial Airport, Sun Valley Aviation's parent company, Seven Bar Aviation, builders from Tectonic Man-agement Group, and airport consultants, Toothman-Orton Engi-neering. Photo by David N.
A new 8,800-square foot
executive terminal and hanger will replace buildings that date back to the 1930s.
"The ET (executive
terminal) will have a pilotís lounge, computer stations, a break room and segregated
office space," said Kevin Larson, the architect for the aviation project
from the Colorado-based Tectonic Management Group doing the construction.
"Since the inception
of aviation, this area was used for (flying) in some fashion," said Sun
Valley Aviation General Manager Mike Rasch. "We are excited about what
is about to happen."
Armed with chrome shovels
and construction helmets Sun Valley Aviation and airport employees joined builders
and pilots to celebrate the commencement of the project.
"Letís move a little
dirt," Rasch said.
Seven Bar Aviation, the
parent company of Sun Valley Aviation, has owned the air service company since
1982. It has been charged with moving the location by the Federal Aviation Administration
since the implementation of the airportís 1994 master plan.
"It took 10 years
to implement the master plan. Our lease (for the old buildings) is up in October,"
said Seven Bar CEO Wade Black. "These things donít happen overnight. Itís
been a scramble."
Black is the grandson
of Seven Bar founder Albert Black. His father, company chairman Rolfe Black,
was also present for the ceremony.
"We hope that this
will be a nice facility for (Sun Valley Aviation) employees to work in,"
he said. "They have worked in cramped quarters for a long time."
Hertz rental car manager
John Whaley said he, too, is happy to see operations move to the new site away
from the Woodside subdivision and Highway 75.
"Since 9/11 about
half of our rentals have been booked through our station in the FBO (fixed base
operator Sun Valley Aviation)," he said. "It will improve the traffic
congestion issue on the highway and when the (air traffic) control tower is
moved you wonít notice the airport as much. It will look like part of the industrial
Although the Airport Authority
has begun the process of planning for a new airport, airport planners expect
that Friedman will be around at least long enough to make the project worthwhile,
said Airport Manager Rick Baird.
"Even with 10 years
of improved operation itís worth it," said airport engineer Chuck Sundby.
By the end of next summer
the operation should finally be settled in its new digs.
"Weíre pleased that
youíre a part of this community," Baird said. "Thank you for this
wonderful day to start this project."