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Friedman Memorial Control Tower Expected To Stay Open Until September

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By Andrew Reed

Hailey, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Control towers at close to 150 small airports will stay open for a few months.

The towers were slated to close in June due to budget cuts.

Here in the gem state, towers in Hailey, Idaho Falls, and Pocatello were on that closure list.

The wood river valley community will not be seeing any flight delays over the summer.

The Friedman Memorial airport control tower will remain open until September.

"To this community our tower will be funded and will save us $170,000 because the Friedman Memorial Airport authority board has already made the decision to fund that period between June 15 through September 30,” said Rick Baird, Airport Manger, Friedman Memorial Airport.

Once September comes, the federal aviation administration budget will be reviewed.

All dependent upon sequestration being fixed.

"The problem isn't going to go away. We might be confronted with the same types of issues starting in October,” said Baird.

Now that the airport is expected to be open until September 30, 2013 what does this mean for Wood River Valley residents?

"The airport here is really the life blood of this economy. If people can't get in and out quickly they're not going to want to visit” said Cheri Hicks, traveler.

"It's vital to the economy for the valley for both tourism, locally, and business wise,” said Robert Maclead, hopes towers stay open.

"It's defiantly beneficial and its sometimes easier to take a flight out of here and pay a little extra more money and save the drive from Boise and back usually. That would be really good if they can keep it going,” said Jeff Boyett, traveler.

An area known for its vacation destination, which could be affected by air travel in the future.


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