While airport officials in the Sun Valley region face a 2015 federal mandate to make runways safer, they're also concerned about making modifications that "could jeopardize the future of a replacement airport."
The Idaho Mountain Express reports that Blaine County commissioners huddled with Friedman Memorial Airport authorities to discuss "costs and benefits" of seven different options of upgrading runways so more commercial aircraft can fly into the region. The options carry price tags ranging anywhere from $38.4 million to as much as $149.4 million.
But the modifications are "meant to be short-term," says the Mountain Express, and some of the alternatives could "eliminate" the need for a replacement airport.
“If we fix the airport to a degree that nothing else needs to be done, it could be presumed that we won’t go with a new airport,” said Blaine County Commissioner Jacob Greenberg.
Additionally, Bellevue City Councilman Dave Hattula said his colleagues "have declared that our ultimate support is for a replacement airport south of Bellevue."
The issue comes back to the front burner at the Blaine County Commission meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 27.