After officially unveiling its new instrument approach procedure Thursday, Dec. 3, Friedman Memorial Airport got a first taste of the technology’s benefits when a storm system rolled in late Sunday afternoon.
The airport’s new predetermined maneuvers—approved by the Federal Aviation Administration in August—allow pilots to land in low-visibility conditions. Specifically, Delta and United pilots flying E175 regional jets no longer have to divert to Twin Falls or Salt Lake City if cloud cover in Hailey is below 1,600 feet. So far, that has translated to a reduction in weather-related diversions.
On Sunday, for example, SkyWest Flight 3528 emerged from low-hanging clouds to land safely at Friedman. Meanwhile, snow-packed roads sent several cars fishtailing on Main Street.
“It was awesome to see,” airport Manager Chris Pomeroy said of Flight 3528’s landing—and the new instrument approach procedure—in a Tuesday press release. “This flight represents a game-changing effort among many partners here in the valley, including our air carrier partners for years, to improve reliability at this airport.”