Idaho Transportation Department

Idaho’s backcountry airstrips provide a unique service for pilots flying in and out of remote areas of the state. There are no towers and no record of who comes in or out of those spots. And that can be a problem when it comes to keeping the strips operating. But now one man has an idea on how to fix that oversight.

Joe Jaszewski / Idaho Statesman

Ada County commissioners have dashed one man's hopes of having his own airstrip in the city's foothills.

The Idaho Statesman reports the commissioners voted 2-1 on Wednesday to overturn a Planning and Zoning decision that would have allowed Dean Hilde to build the 1,200-foot landing strip on about 150 acres as well as a 3,600-square-foot hangar and shop.

Joe Jaszewski / Idaho Statesman

Update, Thursday, 10:12 a.m.:  The Ada County Commissioners have tabled the issue after hearing three hours of public testimony. According to a press release, 16 people testified in favor of the airstrip and 15 testified against it Wednesday night.

Original post:

On May 30th, 1912, Wilbur Wright died peacefully in his own bed in the family home in Dayton, Ohio. He was 45 years old. The cause of death was typhoid, which he may have contracted from eating tainted clam broth in a Boston restaurant. But Orville Wright and members of the Wright family believed Wilbur’s death was attributable to the stress he experienced fighting their archenemy and main competitor, Glenn Curtiss. In Orville Wright’s mind, Curtiss had killed his older brother.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Seven years ago, a beloved lodge in Idaho’s backcountry burned to the ground. The Big Creek Lodge was built in the 1930s in a remote spot in the Payette National Forest. For decades it welcomed people as they headed into the Frank Church Wilderness. A grass airstrip next to the lodge meant many of the guests at Big Creek were pilots.

Now, a group of pilots is rebuilding the lodge.

Family members say search efforts have mostly ended for a small private airplane that went missing over the mountains in central Idaho with five people aboard.

Alan Dayton of Salt Lake City is the uncle of Jonathon Norton, one of the passengers on the plane.

Dayton told The Salt Lake Tribune that a few family members were still in Idaho searching on Tuesday afternoon.

An official search by county, state and military rescue crews ended Friday, five days after air traffic controllers lost contact with the aircraft.

Bad weather and a lack of new information are hindering the search for a private plane that disappeared Sunday in the mountains of central Idaho.

Officials said Friday poor visibility has forced them to ground the aircraft used in the search, though a limited number of ground searchers were still combing the wilderness near Yellow Pine for signs of the plane. Valley County Sheriff's Lt. Dan Smith said snowfall was expected for the next several days and search crews could not be put in harm's way.

central mountains, airplane search
Idaho Department of Transportation

New video released by the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) gives a bird’s-eye view of rugged snow-covered terrain in Valley County where the search continues for a missing airplane. Teams expanded their search area Wednesday for the California plane that went missing Sunday.

NickKC7CBF / Flickr Creative Commons

Updated Dec. 4, 9:25 a.m.:  More search and rescue personnel have joined a team scouring the central Idaho mountains for five people aboard a plane that disappeared two days ago.

Rob Feeley of the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security said Wednesday the search has resumed with seven aircraft and at least 18 new members of a ground party looking for the Beech Bonanza piloted by Dale Smith, a 51-year-old software executive from San Jose, Calif.

Smith departed Sunday from eastern Oregon with four family members bound for Butte, Mont.

Update 3:20 p.m.: The air search for a missing airplane was suspended Monday due to bad weather.  An Army Air National Guard helicopter left Boise's Gowen Field at 10:30 a.m. on its way to the last known transmission, but had to turn back because of poor weather.  Helicopters and the Civil Air Patrol will join the search when the weather improves.

ATV's and snowmobiles are being mobilized for a ground search.  The Valley County Sheriff's department will coordinate those on the ground.

Original Story:

With business suffering from a big wildfire, the Idaho resort region surrounding Sun Valley finally has some good news: An air carrier will add high-season flights, something officials hope will boost the region's tourism-dependent economy.

United Express, operating through regional carrier Sky West, will fly the daily connection between Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey, Idaho, and San Francisco starting Dec. 12 through March 30 and again from July 2 through Sept. 23.

Beriev BE-200
Oleg V. Belyakov / WikiCommons

A company aims to test an amphibious Russian firefighting plane this summer on one of Idaho's wildfires.

David Baskett, president of California-based International Emergency Services, hopes to eventually win lucrative U.S. government contracts for the Beriev BE-200 to assist in firefighting.

Last month, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter told Baskett he wants to observe the BE-200, which can fly 400 miles per hour and scoop 3,500 gallons of water from a lake within seconds.

Baskett says the BE-200 can strike at wildfires quickly.

Alaska Airlines Apologizes for Delay

Oct 8, 2012

Updated October 8, 3:55 p.m.

Alaska Airline, which has flights to and from Boise,  has experienced delays today.

Company president and CEO Brad Tilden says a power outage in Wisconsin affected he airlines’ internet connection, and its ability to check in passengers. The system is now back up but the airline reports there are long delays for checking in online.

Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

Boise resident C.K. Haun has this routine down.  He may live in Idaho, but he’s a senior engineer at Apple.  Long before the sun is up, he arrives at the Boise Airport, to catch his regular flight to San Jose.  “I can do this by autopilot now,” he says. “Most of the TSA people know me, and we smile and say hi.  Every Monday morning, week in week out!”  Continue reading...