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Airport board comments on jet report

Public comment open until Oct. 12

by KATHERINE WUTZ

The Friedman Memorial Airport Authority is questioning the usefulness of an environmental report stating that SkyWest airline’s use of regional jets for three flights a day would have no significant impact on the surrounding area.

The report was released on Sept. 12, conducted by aviation consulting firm Mead and Hunt for the Federal Aviation Administration. The assessment is required by FAA rules before the administration can approve SkyWest’s application for a set of operational specifications that would allow the airline to fly the CRJ700, a small regional jet, into and out of the airport in Hailey.


“If this is successful, they might add flights.”
Martha Burke
Friedman Memorial Airport Authority


The report was based on the assumption that SkyWest foresees flying three daily flights rather than the six currently conducted in high season.

Friedman Memorial Airport Authority member Martha Burke said she was concerned that the report did not consider impacts if SkyWest expands operations.

“If this is successful, they might add flights,” she said.

Authority member Larry Schoen said the report should have considered impacts if SkyWest decided to add service from San Francisco or another airport.

Mead and Hunt consultant Brad Rolf said the environmental assessment was only meant to focus on switching to a different aircraft and reducing the number of daily flights.

“The FAA, they do want the environmental assessment to focus on what is reasonably foreseeable,” he said.

Friedman Memorial Airport Manager Rick Baird said adding a new flight or route out of the airport would not require a new assessment.

Comment on the environmental assessment is open through Oct. 12. For more information on how to comment and to view the report, visit www.flyfma.com.


Kate Wutz: kwutz@mtexpress.com

 



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