July 25, 2017 Update
All 31 airstrips managed by Idaho Aeronautics will remain open and available during the eclipse event. However, we reserve the right to close any state airport deemed necessary.
Our goal is to maintain safe operations around the airports.
In preparation for the solar eclipse on Aug. 21, the Division of Aeronautics is taking steps to maintain safety and accessibility for pilots. Eclipse chasers from around the world are expected to descend on parts of Southern Idaho where summer skies will provide incredible viewing opportunities.
If you plan to view the eclipse from an Idaho State Airstrip between the dates of Aug 19-22, please consider the following:
- Expect busy airspace, airports and ramp areas.
- Airport camping facilities are available on a first-come first-served basis. (see camping rules below)
- Reservations for tiedowns and airport camping areas are not being accepted.
- We expect large crowds – Pilots may find very few available tiedowns or parking spaces.
- Maintain a flexible schedule and full fuel tanks.
- Check weather, airport NOTAMS and TFR’s.
- August is wildfire season in Idaho. Chances are good that the air will be smoky, TFR’s will be present, and firefighting aircraft will be active.
- Have a plan B.
- Download the Idaho Airports app from the app store.
- Review airport information such as standard operating procedures (SOP)
- Most lodging and public campgrounds are booked and dispersed camping may not be allowed.
- Cell service may not be available, so plan your trip in advance.
- Use flight plans or proper flight following procedures.
STATE-MANAGED AIRPORTS IN THE ECLIPSE PATH
- Bruce Meadows: Possible large number of charter flights operating as well as recreational flights. Pilotsshould remain extra vigilant when operating at Bruce Meadows.
- Garden Valley: A fly-in group of 30 aircraft plan to be at Garden Valley during the eclipse. Since Garden Valley is close to the Banks-Lowman road, non-aviation vehicles may be present. (Garden Valley SOP)
- Smiley Creek: Numerous pilots have indicated they plan to fly to Smiley Cr. Blaine County Sheriff will be setting up a mobile command center at the airport. The airport caretaker will be on duty. (Smiley Cr. SOP)
- Stanley: Late August is a very popular time for charter flights from Stanley to the Middle Fork airstrips.
- USFS may be operating firefighting equipment in the Stanley area. There could possibly be rotor wing aircraft based at Stanley and TFR’s in the area. Stanley Airport may exceed a record number of operations.
- Non-aeronautical use of the Stanley Airport is prohibited.
- 20,000 people are expected to be traveling to the area.
- Be aware of people, vehicles and/or campsites next to the runway.
- Pilots should plan on parking all aircraft on the west side of the runway.(Stanley SOP)
- Other airports expecting high usage are:
- State of Idaho: Atlanta, Magic Reservoir, Smith Prairie, Twin Bridges,
- USFS: Graham, Landmark, Weatherby
AIRPORT CAMPING RULES
- Camping is limited to pilots with aircraft and their passengers.
- Leave no trace. Leave your tiedown site better than you found it. Fly it in, fly it out!
- Check and follow current fire conditions and fire restrictions.
- Airports are always in operation. Maintain safe operating practices, keep any pets on leashes.
- Non-aeronautical use of state airport and campgrounds are not allowed unless prior permission is granted.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
- August is peak wildfire season in Idaho. A small spark can rapidly become a large fire.
- Know fire risks such as campfire and county burn bans.
- Proper safety equipment (water, fire extinguisher and shovel) are highly recommended in your vehicle.
- For more information on current wildfires, fire restrictions and education, visit the Idaho Fire Information website.
- Familiarize yourself with the airports and operating procedures for the airports you are visiting.
To learn more about what’s happening in Idaho, please visit:
- Visit Idaho
- Eastern Idaho Eclipse information
- Great American Eclipse: Idaho
- Idaho Department of Commerce
- Idaho Fire Information website
- Aeronautics Facebook page
You can also call the Division of Aeronautics at 208-334-8775.
Join the conversation using #idahoeclipse2017.