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Heber Valley Airport board sets 2022 agenda

File photo of the Heber Valley Airport, 2020
Heber City
File photo of the Heber Valley Airport, 2020

At the last Heber City Airport Advisory Board last week, planners agreed there’s a sense of urgency this year to narrow down possibilities for a final airport master plan.

The master planning process updates the airport for safety regulations and possibly expands it with businesses and attractions.

At last week’s Heber City Airport Advisory Board meeting, board members and consultants said they were behind the planning timeline. Two phases scheduled to happen last year, but did not, were to present development concepts to the public and conduct a local impact study.

They attributed some delays to COVID complications and now say it’ll be 2023 before they can get a draft master plan to the city council. After the city approves a plan, it’ll be time to begin construction.

Consultant Jeremy McAlister told the board the public will have several opportunities to weigh in this year on what it wants from the airport update.

“The activity level you see at the airport today is not being driven because of the airport,” he said, “it’s being driven because of the regional changes in your area. We’re seeing that all over the country, and especially post COVID, where you’re seeing a migration of people out of the metropolitan communities. That’s happening here - it was happening here, frankly, before COVID - and it’s not going to go away, and the airport is just a piece of that.”

Curt Castagna, CEO of consulting firm AeroPlex, told the board there needs to be lots of specific possibilities for the public to consider.

“At that point, we’ve defined what the airport is, what the forecasted demand for the next 20 years for the airport is and what those standards are. I would break it down into primary elements being the runway and the taxiway, the secondary elements being the more periphery that would be attached to those,” Castagna said.

Those periphery elements include storage for planes and buildings that don’t necessarily focus on aviation. For example, one idea is a restaurant that would be open to the public.

Other ideas brought up at the meeting included a community viewing area. Airport Manager Travis Biggs said some community members, especially kids, would use it to watch planes.

The board and consultants also supported programs to better involve the community in airport operations, like school field trips, fly-in events for pilots and an internship program in the administration office.

The board and consultants said they would meet again by February, but a date hasn’t been scheduled yet.

For more information about the master planning process, visit hebervalleyflightpath.com.

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