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A consultant will complete a plan for Friedman Memorial Airport’s terminal area—outlined here in red—to accommodate expected growth in travel.

A collaboration among the Friedman Memorial Airport Authority board, a consulting firm and the Federal Aviation Administration will likely pave the way for future terminal renovations to accommodate air service growth.

On Feb. 11, the Airport Authority board approved a scope-of-work plan and a $293,368 negotiated fee with engineering and architectural firm Mead and Hunt to complete a terminal area plan.

Wisconsin-based Mead and Hunt—a longtime planning consultant for the airport—will take on the role of project manager and terminal architect during the planning process, which will involve analyzing improvements within the terminal area (outlined in red on the accompanying map above).

Some options to accommodate an expected increase in commercial airline activity include renovating aircraft and vehicle parking areas, increasing baggage claim and gate capacity and evaluating possible zones for terminal relocation.

“The purpose is to prepare a preferred, detailed facilities layout ‘concept’ plan for development within the terminal area at the airport,” a recent staff report noted.

In the Airport Authority board’s 2018 master plan, annual enplanements, or boarding passengers, were forecast to be around 79,000 in 2019. The airport surpassed that figure in 2018 at roughly 94,000 enplanements—leading to discussion about future terminal expansion.

The forthcoming terminal planning project is expected to be largely funded through the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program entitlement funds, with the airport itself pitching in around $18,336—an amount approved for fiscal 2020.

Also approved at the Airport Authority board meeting on Feb. 11 was a $75,887 work order with Meridian-based T-O Engineers for a runway and airfield pavement maintenance project.

In June, the airport’s single 7,500-foot runway will undergo rubber removal, crack sealing and restriping of runway markings. That work is slated to take place in early June during intermittent daytime runway closures.

“Air carrier flights and schedules are not expected to be impacted,” airport Manager Chris Pomeroy said of the project.

Additional apron and taxi-lane areas will also get crack sealing, seal coating treatments and restriping in June.

It’s expected that the FAA Airport Improvement Program will cover around 94 percent of the airfield maintenance project fees, meaning the airport will pay just over $4,700.

Friedman Memorial Airport, operated by the Friedman Memorial Airport Authority Board, is jointly owned by the city of Hailey and Blaine County. To learn more about upcoming projects, visit iflysun.com.

Email the writer: ejones@mtexpress.com

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