FAA Lowers Cloud Cover Restrictions for Sun Valley Airport 

click to enlarge - Delta, Horizon and United operate regular service to Friedman Memorial Airport. -  - REDLEGSFAN21 /CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0

In a move aimed at "drastically reducing" the number of diverted airline flights to the Boise or Twin Falls airports, federal regulators have given the all-clear for planes to land at the Wood River Valley's Friedman Memorial Airport when cloud cover is at a lower altitude. The new rule comes with the advent of higher-performance aircraft and new GPS technology.

This morning's Idaho Mountain Express reports that the Friedman Airport Authority Board was briefed on the big change from the Federal Aviation Administration July 12.  

For years, planes were only allowed to land at Friedman with a minimum of an 1,800-foot cloud clearance. But the new change allows cloud ceilings to be dropped to 900 feet, not uncommon in the area during inclement weather. The Mountain Express reports that airport manager Chris Pomeroy indicated that an average of 120 flights per year had been diverted from the Sun Valley area to Boise or Twin Falls due to cloud clearance below 1,800 feet.

"We're expecting a 60 percent reduction in diversion, possibly more," Pomeroy said.
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