FAA

Beau Lebens / Flickr Creative Commons

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating after air traffic controllers went silent for 20 minutes at the Boise Airport.

The Idaho Statesman reports pilots were unable to make contact with air traffic controllers for 20 minutes Saturday morning. FAA officials would not provide any details into the incident other than saying they are investigating.

No incidents were reported as a result of the inability to contact controllers.

Empire Unmanned / Facebook

The founder of an Idaho company that introduced the use of drones in agriculture is dreaming bigger — literally.

Empire Unmanned founder Steve Edgar is considering using Pocatello Regional Airport as a future hub for possible freight-carrying drones, reported The Capital Press. Edgar spoke about the possibility and the future of aerial shipping at Idaho State University last week.

The Federal Aviation Administration will do an aeronautic study after a south-central Idaho company increased the size of exhaust stacks. Pilots from a nearby airport cited safety concerns.

Steve Engebrecht of the FAA tells The Times-News in a story on Wednesday that the study will take about 45 days to complete.

Burley Airport Users Association President Jack Hunsaker says the new stacks put in by Gem State Processing could interfere with some approaches and departures.

FAA

The head of the Federal Aviation Administration was in Boise Monday. Director Michael Huerta spoke to the National Association of State Aviation Officials convention at the Boise Center. Prior to his comments there, Huerta visited the National Interagency Fire Center. 

The FAA and officials at NIFC have worked together to try and curb the issue of drones flying too close to aerial firefighting operations. Numerous times this year, air tankers and helicopters flying over wildfires had to be grounded because drones were discovered nearby.

rbbaird / Flickr Creative Commons

Toxicology tests are planned on the body of a 21-year-old commercial pilot who died after his backcountry aircraft crashed within Craters of the Moon National Monument in south-central Idaho.

Blaine County Coroner Russ Mikel says Neil MacNichol of McCall died of blunt force trauma in the crash on Thursday.

Authorities say MacNichol was flying from Moab, Utah, to Stanley, Idaho, when he disappeared. The wreckage was found on Friday on a portion of the monument managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Advanced Aviation Solutions , an Idaho-based startup, has become the first company to win federal approval to use drones in farm settings.

Commercial drones are taking to the Northwest skies even though the rules aren't clear.

John Creasey / Flickr Creative Commons

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating after a chartered jet went off the edge of the runway in central Idaho.

Freidman Memorial Airport Manager Rick Baird tells the Idaho Mountain Express that the eight-passenger Learjet 60 ended up on the runway shoulder on June 17.

Baird says the safety features at the airport performed as planned.

Authorities didn't report any injuries.

The White House says President Obama will sign a fast-tracked Congressional bill to end the furloughs of air traffic controllers. Operators of smaller Northwest airports hope the measure also stops the planned closure of their control towers.

As of now, more than a dozen of the less busy airport control towers in Oregon, Washington and Idaho remain on a list to be deactivated in early June. They're potential casualties of across-the-board federal budget cuts at the Federal Aviation Administration.

Robin Wagner / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho’s regional airport towers have been given a short reprieve from federal budget cuts known as the sequester. That includes Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Lewiston and Hailey. The towers are now set to close on June 15th.

Closing the towers means planes could still fly, but pilots would take on the responsibilities the towers now hold.

Andrew W. Sieber / Flickr Creative Commons

Airports in Hailey and Pocatello will close their air traffic control towers on May 5. The Lewiston-Nez Perce County and Idaho Falls Regional Airports are also set to close sometime after April 7.