A plan is in the works for a new Mini-Cassia Airport. The current airport in Burley will be shut down because it doesn't meet safety standards.
Studies find the Burley airport to be one of the most dangerous in the state because of its location; it's surrounded by hazards and obstacles like the Snake River, a highway, grain elevators and trees just to name a few. In addition to that, the runways are too short for the planes that use the airport.
When it comes to the proposed new airport, the Times News reports the next step in the project is an environmental review of the site south of I-84 near Exit 216. Building a new airport is expected to cost $30 million, but 90 percent of that will be picked up by the FAA. The state will chip in 5 percent, leaving local communities to come up with about $1.5 million.
This is the third attempt at building a new airport. Two sites previously selected as contenders fizzled, due to land-use issues. Local communities are hoping the Idaho Legislature will pass laws allowing towns to create special airport zones which would provide an avenue for creating a taxing district. If approved by the legislature, the rules would allow the new airport to be funded through tax dollars from Minidoka and Cassia Counties.
The current environmental study of the new airport could take up to a year and a half to complete. Local officials say it could be around seven years before planes are taking off.
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