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Heber Officials Plan to Discourage Large Aircraft From Landing in Airport Plan

Heber City and the Heber Airport Flightpath team will host a virtual presentation of the airport's master planning process, review data and take input from the public at 6 p.m. on Thursday.


Heber City, under Federal Aviation Administration regulations, cannot restrict planes of any size from landing at the municipal airport. Heber City Manager Matt Brower said pilots could land based on their judgment. 


However, he said the community has spoken out on the airport's future and the impacts it has on the residents living nearby.


"I think part of the master plan process is to see what we can do as a sponsor of the airport, to make sure that we don't do anything to encourage larger aircraft from coming into the airport,” he said. “Part of the master plan is hearing from the public to get their ideas, but to make sure that we don't make any investments again that would encourage larger aircraft because the community has spoken. They don't want large aircraft, but we can't discriminate against anyone that can fly in safely."   


The FAA requires a master plan update. The city is also trying to make the airport safer and more able to handle future traffic. T-O Engineer Project Representative Jeremy McAllister said they're not planning for larger aircraft at the airport now or in the future.


"Design safety standards are set by the threshold of the traffic that's using the facility,” he said. “That threshold is 500 operations annually. Current traffic that the airport is receiving is in excess of 500 operations for the next approach category up, which really has to do with speed more than size." 


Brower said the city has no interest in expanding the capacity or allowing larger aircraft to use the airport.


“We'll go to the mat to try to prevent that because we've heard the public, and we realize that they don't want those bigger aircraft,” he said. “And so this is not really about airport expansion; this is really about trying to see what standards the FAA is going to require the city to allow for those C-2 aircraft to come in safely. And that's it."

Brower said they'd start the meeting with a 45-minute presentation, but they'll stay as late as needed to answer everyone's questions. Questions can be submitted before and during the zoom meeting. To participate virtually, visit the Heber Valley Flight Path website.

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.
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