Mountain Express: Sun Valley Trying To Land Federal Dollars For East Coast Connection

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Officials in the Wood River Valley are pushing for a federal grant to link Sun Valley, via one-stop air service, to the East Coast.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports that the Fly Sun Valley Alliance is seeking something called a Small Community Air Service Development Grant. A similar grant, secured in 2002, was able to kick off nonstop service between Sun Valley and Los Angeles on Horizon Air. That service remains in operation at Hailey's Friedman Memorial Airport during the peak winter and summer months.

The Mountain Express reports that the federal grant program receives 300-400 applications annually but only dolls out 30-40 grants.

Meanwhile, the airport is also applying for a $2.2 million Airport Improvement Grant to help pay for major safety modifications to the facility. The three-year project, with a price tag of $25- to $35 million, will include hangar relocation, construction of additional taxiways and expansion of the terminal.

Ironically, the news comes on the busiest week of the year for the airport. Friedman Memorial's hangars and runways have been filed with private jets this week, all accommodating the luminaries attending this week's Allen and Co. shindig at the Sun Valley Resort.

Among the attendees: New Jersey Gov. Chris Chrisie, New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO larry Page, Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger, Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch, and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett.

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