By George Prentice
The authority that oversees Hailey’s Friedman Memorial Airport says it will play hardball with the Federal Aviation Administration, going so far as filing a lawsuit in federal court to seek an injunction to keep its air traffic control tower open.
Friedman is one of four Idaho airports—including airports Lewiston, Idaho Falls and Pocatello—that are on a list of 149 air traffic towers slated to be shut down in early May by the FAA. The cuts, triggered by the federal funding sequestration gridlock, will affect airports with fewer than 150,000 flights per year and fewer than 10,000 commercial flights.
This morning’s Idaho Mountain Express reports that the Friedman Airport Authority met in emergency session March 27 to decide to file the lawsuit following a behind-closed-doors executive session.
A representative from Horizon Airline reportedly told a member of the authority that their airline could continue to fly in and out of Friedman, but that service might be compromised by the lack of a tower.
The Mountain Express reports that Blaine County Commissioner Jacob Greenberg said the cost of litigation would range from $16,000 to $30,000.