Heber Airport Advisory Board Meets Wednesday Ahead Of Airport Master Plan Update

Heber City’s Airport Advisory Board meets Wednesday. As part of the meeting the board will hear a report that includes an update on the Airport Master Plan.

The Airport Advisory Board meets Wednesday at 4:00 pm in the Heber City Council Chambers in the Wasatch Stake Tabernacle located at 75 North Main Street. The board meets quarterly with the purpose to advise the City Council on matters pertaining to the policies of the Heber Valley Airport.

Part of the manager report will inform the advisory board on the efforts of the airport to update the master plan. Assistant Airport Manager Travis Biggs explains why they’re updating the master plan.

“I believe the FAA supports and encourages us to have a master plan,” Biggs continued. “So, it’ll be the city or the airports master plan, because we’re far overdue for it. When we signed on to the grant assurances one of the agreements that you make is that you will maintain an updated master plan and we’re pretty far behind. We probably should have done it a few years ago.”

The report says that the airport is currently conducting interviews with public relations firms to assist with the public outreach portion of the master plan process.

The report also lists several points for board members to keep in mind regarding the master plan.

One is that the outcome of the master plan is not predetermined.

“So, it’s not at all that we’re determining if we’re going to do this, or we’re preventing this, or anything like that,” Biggs explained. “It’s just like a master plan for a city. It’s kind of what do we see, what are the trends, what are the needs, what are the wants, what are the ideas? It’s just a very broad overview of how things look and what the future is looking like.”

Another point of notice for the board is that the master plan is not a license for expansion of the airport. Biggs says that the update will be public and will seek input from citizens.

“Anybody that’s interested in the airport and wants to learn more about what it is, and what it does, and anything like that. Just like with the city 2050 plan, I mean the more people that get involved and the more people that have an understanding, a correct understanding of what’s going on, I think helps dispel a lot of misconceptions,” Biggs said. “There always seems to be rumors and misconceptions about city growth and airport activities and what not.”

Biggs says that he’s heard a lot of rumors implying that the airport asked for the rerouting of 189 as part of the Heber Valley Parkway in order to expand the airport. Biggs says those claims aren’t true.

“The airport didn’t bring up anything about moving 189,” Biggs continued. “Whether they move the highway or not they could do the safety upgrade if they needed to. There are advantages if they do end up moving it as far as some of the hangers might not need to be taken out at some point, but it’s completely different than the highway thing.” 

The Master Planning effort will begin later in 2019 and is expected to take 18-24 months to complete. The report also says that the updated master plan may require the airport advisory board, which will act as the steering committee, to meet more frequently.

At last week’s city council meeting the council rescinded changes made to airport minimum standards in 2017 and replaced them with the 2016 airport minimum standers. The council also placed a moratorium on Airport Development. Both actions came as a recommendation from legal counsel. Listeners can learn more about the impacts of that decision in future reports.

Read the original story at KPCW.org.