BURLEY, ID (KMVT) Observers have taken a close look at the current Burley Airport three times already, and found it lacking. But local citizens have mixed reactions to its proposed replacement.
One man says, "I'd like to see an airport here, just having been a pilot and being involved. You can't make instrument landings into this airport. And if you have any issues, you have to go to Twin Falls to land."
Another man says, "You know how much money we could save if we would send a limousine to Twin Falls or Pocatello to pick these people up and bring 'em here?"
The Burley City Hall conference room was packed with people concerned about the four possible sites for a new Burley Airport. The new airport would need a safety zone 2,000 feet wide and more than two miles long. The current runways aren't long enough.
Mel Leseberg, Deputy Project Manager for C.N.C.S, says, "Because of these impacts, also the runways look longer than they are paved, but they have displaced thresholds, meaning that you can't land until a certain spot down the runway, because of clearing the obstacles on each end of the runway."
But the most common comment about the four proposed sites was that they were disturbing agriculture too much. Some local residents said that the new airport should be built on public land.
As a result, the committee will take another look at its goals for site selection, and find a new set of possible locations that will have a smaller impact on agricultural operations. That pushes the project back even further.
Rob Ramsey, Project Manager for C.N.C.S, says, "After the site is selected, then they'll have to start going through an Environmental Impact Analysis of the property, they'll have to be working with the right of way negotiations."
Then the committee will have to work with the FAA to schedule the funding to design and build a new airport.