Heber City Mayor Kelleen Potter said at the January 29th meeting the city heard a few repeated concerns from residents regarding the Airport Master Plan update. The city responded by publishing a brief document outlining three commitments. One of those commitments was that Heber would not build a control tower.
“One of the things that people have been concerned about is what is going to happen at this airport if there is some kind of an upgrade from a B2 to a C2,” Potter explained. “Part of the concern is that we would have these big airplanes and it possibly end up with commercial service. Without a control tower it’s very limited on what could happen in the future. We just want to make that clear that that is not part of the plan. It’s not a consideration. We wanted to let the public know that’s a commitment that we are willing to make at this point.”
Heber City will not permit commercial airline service in the valley.
“People are worried because they’ve been told and it’s true that we can’t limit planes from landing here,” Potter continued. “Which is the reason why we’re talking about this safety upgrade is because bigger planes are landing here and it’s not as safe for them as it would be if it was a wider, longer runway. So, people think well maybe the next thing is a big giant commercial airline. Well in order for a city to get commercial service they have to request it. It’s not something that’s just easily done. As a city we have no intention of requesting that. I can’t say somebody in the future in decades from now might not do that, but currently there’s nobody with any appetite for requesting commercial service to come to our airport.”
The final commitment is the Airport Master Plan will not move Highway 189.
“When that planning study was being done about the bypass parkway road, one of the proposals would move 189,” Potter said. “There was a lot of conversation about how we were doing that in order to expand the airport and that is not the case. It was a coincidence that they had looked at that as an option. Now I’m not saying UDOT wouldn’t do that. I don’t know what’s going to happen with that study, but that is not something that would be done as part of a master plan process for the airport.”
Additionally, Potter said that the city doesn’t plan to strong arm property owners in Daniels.
“My understanding is that we don’t even have the authority to use eminent domain in another jurisdiction outside of our city,” Potter explained. “So, I don’t know of anyone on the council, or in the administration, anybody that would want to do that. So, I don’t foresee that happening.”
Residents can stay informed on the project’s website.
“We’ll have information as far as when the community advisory committee and the technical advisory committee put out any information,” Potter continued. “Right now, there’s a draft of one chapter and then there will be more of those. There will be a couple more meetings a total of six.”
The second public meeting has not been scheduled but is anticipated to come in Spring of 2020.