With many travelers flying in and out of Hailey this holiday season, locals and visitors alike can expect busy airport lines and parking lots.

According to AAA, air travel is expected to increase by 4.9 percent compared to last year, with nearly 7 million Americans flying to their holiday destinations.

Here are a few tips from Friedman Memorial Airport to help passengers get through the facility this holiday season:

  • Dress appropriately. Though the airport maintains the parking lot and sidewalk areas as much as it can, some areas may be icy, and travelers should be prepared to walk a short distance to the main terminal from the parking lot.

  • Give yourself time. If you are planning to park your vehicle at the airport, give yourself enough time to find a parking spot and get to the terminal and through TSA. According to Airport Finance Administrator Lisa Emerick, the parking lot is likely to fill up, as it did over the Thanksgiving holiday, but everything possible will be done to accommodate incoming vehicles. For the most up-to-date information on parking space, visit the airport’s website at iflysun.com or call 208-806-2053.

  • Be prepared for snow removal. While your vehicle may be clear of snow upon departure, airport employees are not responsible for maintaining snow off your vehicle while you are away. Travelers returning should be prepared to remove snow from their vehicles when they arrive if snow has fallen while they were away.

Emerick said she could not comment on enplanement numbers so far this season, as those will not be released until mid-January, but according to AAA, this is the eighth consecutive year of growth in the number of air travelers nationwide and the most since 2003.

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