Can’t find what you’re looking for? Visit our old site, CLICK HERE


April 25, 2024

Friedman Memorial Airport named among the nation’s ‘best in snow’

SUN scoops up prestigious Balchen/Post Award for excellence in snow and ice control

Hailey, Idaho – Friedman Memorial Airport, nestled in the breathtaking Sawtooth Mountains, has been honored with the esteemed Balchen/Post Award for excellence in snow and ice control. The announcement follows an award ceremony held last Monday at the International Aviation Snow Symposium in Buffalo, NY.

Presented by the Northeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), the Balchen/Post Award is internationally recognized and seeks to promote better snow and ice control and to recognize those individuals responsible for outstanding performance. Friedman Memorial Airport emerged victorious in the Small Commercial Airport Category (those with less than 100,000 annual operations), surpassing numerous contenders with its exceptional dedication to swift, efficient, and safe snow and ice removal while maintaining uninterrupted airport operations.

Airports vying for this recognition undergo rigorous evaluation based on several criteria, including the depth of preparedness, effectiveness of snow and ice control programs across critical areas such as runways, taxiways, and ramps, as well as the timeliness and accuracy of communications with stakeholders during snow and ice events.

For nearly four years, the SUN Airport Operations team has not turned away a single flight operation due to poor runway conditions related to snow accumulation—a feat that is nearly unheard of in the aviation community.

“This award symbolizes the commitment, dedication, and tireless efforts of our exceptional Airport Operations team and our seasonal staff,” remarked Tim Burke, Deputy Director. “Their round-the-clock dedication, including early mornings and late nights, ensures that SUN remains one of the safest, reliable, and most effectively managed commercial service airports in the nation. This achievement is a testament to their professionalism and our unwavering commitment to excellence.”

The entire community is invited to congratulate the Airport Ops team and seasonal staff on this remarkable achievement.

The 2023-2024 Winter Ops Snow Team included Airport Operations Supervisors Greg Beaver and Nick Carnes, Airport Operations Specialists Scott Beaver, Jesse Gillett, Oliver Nordlie, Deano Miller, and Trent Shoemaker. Assisting the Airport Ops team, as seasonal airfield maintenance staff were heavy equipment operators Jesse Goodwin, Mike Elle, Nick Schell, Patrick Szczotka, and Karl Peterson.

About Friedman Memorial Airport:

Located in the heart of the beautiful Wood River Valley, Friedman Memorial Airport (SUN) generates the second-highest economic impact for commercial service airports in Idaho, second only behind Boise Airport. SUN offers scheduled airline service to Salt Lake City, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, and Chicago. SUN creates jobs and connects tourists from around the world with local businesses, generating close to $300 million in economic impact each year for the region*. With a steadfast commitment to safety, efficiency, and exceptional customer service, Friedman Memorial Airport is proud to serve as a vital transportation hub for residents and visitors alike.

*Source: 2020 Idaho Division of Aeronautics Economic Impact of Idaho Airports report

Media Contact:

Tim Burke, Deputy Director of Airport Operations