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Construction ban at Heber Valley Airport lifted, clears way for overhaul

A plane is pictured in front of an OK3 AIR facility at the Heber Valley Airport.
A plane is pictured in front of an OK3 AIR facility at the Heber Valley Airport.

The Heber City Council will now allow construction at the Heber airport for the first time in years. The runway shift and other updates are still years away.

Heber City Manager Matt Brower told the city council the Federal Aviation Administration, which pays for and has the final say on major development projects at the Heber Valley Airport, gave the city a green light for its safety upgrades plan.

“In October we got word that the FAA has accepted the master plan and conditionally approved the airport layout plan,” he said. “Hence, it makes sense now to go ahead and rescind Resolution 2019-09.”

That resolution placed a moratorium on all airport development pending completion of the master plan.

The council’s decision did not apply to two areas of the airport, where OK3 Air may decide to build new facilities. OK3 Air is the airport’s fuel and service operator.

“Per the pre-development agreement the city agreed to as part of the settlement package with OK3 Air,” he said, “when the city installs new runway and taxiways, OK3 is going to have to move a lot of their facilities. So, they've been granted time to identify what campus will be in their best interest and give us some time to evaluate those alternatives. And so, the new moratorium will govern just those two areas.”

Brower said when OK3 decides on its building plans, the city plans to rescind the moratorium in their areas of interest at the airport as well.

As for the safety upgrades the city spent years planning, they’re not ready for construction yet.

The main planned changes included building a new, wider runway southwest from its current position and farther from the road, with wider safety buffer zones. The updated 20-year master plan also includes more parking for cars and planes, a new tarmac, 12 new hangars, an airport access road and renovations of existing facilities.

Next, Brower said the city will spend 18 months planning and designing those changes in more detail.

In early 2023, Brower and design consultants said the current runway could last another 20 years so the FAA may prefer to delay construction to take advantage of its maximum lifespan.

Footage of the full meeting is available at heberut.gov.