A process is underway for the Freidman Memorial Airport to receive $3.75 million in two federal grants.

     In a special meeting that lasted all of five minutes on the night of July 17, the Friedman Memorial Airport Authority passed a recommendation for the city of Hailey and Blaine County to approve the execution of two grant offerings from the Federal Aviation Administration, as airport co-sponsors of the grants.

     One grant will fund equipment for snow removal and firefighting, obstruction removals on acquired land and airspace planning/siting analysis for a control tower. The second grant would pay for a runway protection zone acquisition formalized in October.

     Airport Manager Chris Pomeroy told the board that the grant applications were submitted to the FAA in May. Pomeroy said that two weeks ago, FAA Airport Regional & District/Development Office Project Manager Steve Engebrecht informed him that there would be two grant offers forthcoming. The first grant offer is expected to be received this month, and the second is anticipated for mid-August.

     The first grant will be a little more than $1.25 million for snow removal equipment, aircraft rescue firefighting equipment and the removal of 200 cottonwood trees in the runway protection zone, which is underway.

     The second grant for $2.5 million will fund the land acquisition and additional support efforts for a runway protection zone required by the FAA.

     The $2.26 million for the runway protection land, consisting of about 65 acres of the Eccles Flying Hat Ranch south of the runway, was approved by the Airport Authority on Oct. 24.

     With the Airport Authority’s recommendation, Hailey and Blaine County must each pass separate resolutions to support acceptance of the FAA grants.

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